40,000 Baby Chicks Die in Fire

Fire ripped through a large chicken house in central Pa.

Thursday, Mar 28, 2013  |  Updated 3:47 PM EDT
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Authorities say at least 40,000 hatchling chickens are dead after a fire burned through a large chicken house in central Pennsylvania.

Neversink Fire Company Chief Mike Nelson told the Lebanon Daily News that Wednesday afternoon's fire had already destroyed much of the chicken house by the time fire crews arrived.

He says all of the chickens inside perished, and most of the 200-foot-long building in North Cornwall Township was destroyed.

That amounts to about $500,000 worth of damage.

The baby chicks were valued at $13,000.

"It's sad. It's really sad," Jane Smith, the former property owner told the newspaper. "They (the owners) have good neighbors and good friends, though."

Smith said she too suffered tragedy when she lived there -- her husband fell 30 feet to his death when he was trying to hang up a curtain inside one of the buildings.

Nelson says he didn't know who owns the poultry operation, but says another chicken house next to it with 40,000 hatchling chickens and a nearby two-story home on the property weren't damaged.

No one was injured.

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