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Fire that killed 100,000 baby chickens under investigation

April 25, 2013|By a Times Staff Writer

Authorities on Thursday continued to investigate a fire that killed an estimated 100,000 baby chickens at a processing facility in Riverside County.

The 4-day old chicks were trapped inside the 200-foot-long structure as more than two dozen firefighters in eight engine companies responded to the incident in the 1900 block of Warren Road in San Jacinto, the Riverside County Fire Department said.

Fire crews quickly began battling the intense flames after the blaze was reported about 5:30 a.m Wednesday. Thousands of other chickens were saved "due to aggressive firefighter action," agency spokeswoman Melody Hendrickson said in a statement.

She said that damage and losses were estimated to be $1 million. No injuries were reported to firefighters or workers at the Moark Farms facility, the agency said. 

A neighbor told Patch that fire started quickly.  "The whole thing just kind of engulfed in flames... it was very big... it just went up instantly," John Oostdam told the website.

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