A massive fire destroyed a South Jersey egg farm overnight, killing nearly 300,000 chickens, authorities said.
Mannington Fire Chief Lee Butcher called it the biggest fire he ever fought.in his 60 years of firefighting. Crews battled the four-alarm fire all night and continued to douse hot spots on Tuesday.
Videos of the fire were posted here on Facebook by a lifelong firefighter from Pennsville in Salem County.
The fire broke out around 8:30 p.m. on Monday at the Red Bird Egg Farm on Cemetery Road near Mannington's border with Pilesgrove.
At least 200,000 chickens died in the blaze that destroyed the farm's main building, authorities said. Another 80,000 were killed when an adjoining building lost power, according to a report by CBS-3 in Philadelphia. Fans used to cool chickens stopped working. The birds couldn't survive heat from the nearby fire combined with extremely hot weather, officials said.
Butcher told the CBS-TV news crew that the burning farm buildings got so hot that aluminum siding was melting.
No firefighters or farm workers were reported hurt.
Officials from the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office and a fire marshal K-9 were investigating.
Reliance Fire Department and fire departments from Salem, Gloucester, and Cumberland counties also battled the blaze, a state police spokesman said.
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