Fire kills 150,000 chickens near Galt in rural Wright County

Firefighters battled flames for nearly eight hours on March 30. PHOTO BY BRUCE VOIGTS/SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

Fire destroyed a barn at a Centrum Valley Farms egg facility south of Clarion on March 30, killing an estimated 150,000 hens. No human injuries were reported.

     The fire consumed the northernmost of the facility’s 14 barns, which Centrum stated held 75,000 chickens. According to Adam Clemons, Clarion volunteer firefighter, the fire also stopped the electricity flow to the barn immediately to the south. The chickens inside there died from factors that may have included heat, smoke, and ammonia build-up.

     Clemons estimated around 30 to 40 firefighters from departments in Clarion, Dows and Eagle Grove fought the blaze from around 4:00 p.m. until midnight. Wright County Sheriff Jason Schluttenhofer said that his department performed traffic control in the area until around 7:30 p.m., because “you couldn’t see across the road” due to smoke and particulates in the air. Schluttenhofer and Clemons suggested the fire may have been caused by an equipment malfunction. The facility does not have a sprinkler system. 

Read the full article in the April 9 edition of the Chronicle.