A fire that destroyed a 57,000-square-foot poultry building in Upper Tulpehocken Township killed about 64,000 chickens, officials said June 6.

The fire Friday night, June 5, at 514 Bricker Road destroyed the 76-foot by 750-foot poultry building, causing $700,000 damage just for the building, according to Strausstown Fire Company Chief Jeremy Bentz.

Bentz said almost the entire structure was engulfed in flames by 8 p.m., and shortly after crews arrived half to three-quarters of the building collapsed.

Firefighters were on the scene for more than three and a half hours fighting the two-alarm blaze. With no water available on site, 12 to 14 tanker trucks were used to bring in water, Bentz said.

The 64,000 chicks that had just been delivered to the farm on June 2, the chief said.

Bentz said an exact cause for the fire has not been determined, but said it appears to be accidental. It began in the western end of the structure and, aided by wind, quickly spread eastward.

A value for the chicks was not immediately available.

According to county records, the property is owned by Curtis and Lois Lehman, producers for Bell & Evans.

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