A barn fire at a Frederick County poultry farm resulted in the deaths of more than 10,000 turkeys, Frederick County Volunteer Fire & Rescue Services said.
Fire and Rescue personnel were sent to the 8200 block of Rocky Ridge Road in Graceham at about 5:41 p.m. Thursday for a reported barn fire. Units arriving on scene found a 700-foot-by-70-foot barn on fire.
Additional water tankers were requested at the scene as no public water supply was in the area, fire officials said. Water was eventually pumped from a local pond to firefighters on the scene. The roughly 50 firefighters finally had the blaze under control in roughly an hour.
The barn was home to about 11,000 turkeys, fire officials said. Only about 100 turkeys survived. No firefighters or civilians were hurt. The total damage estimate was roughly $650,000. The incident is still under investigation.
The Animal Welfare Institute reacted to the news of the large-scale animal deaths with reproach.
“Farming operations have a responsibility to consumers and the animals they raise to prioritize animal welfare, and that should include protecting farm animals from barn fires," read a statement released by AWI Communications Coordinator Sydney Hearst. "Considering that large-scale facilities often contain thousands of animals, the magnitude of loss can be staggering, as it was at the Frederick County facility where almost 11,000 turkeys perished. Fire deterrents should be implemented in large-scale farming facilities to prevent these animals from being burned alive.”