July 21 (UPI) -- A fire that engulfed a chicken farm in South Jersey overnight killed nearly 300,000 birds, local fire officials said.
The fire broke out Monday night and was put out by Tuesday morning. Mannington Township Fire Chief Lee Butcher said that while no humans were injured or killed by the blaze, about 280,000 chickens at the Red Bird Egg Farm died.
Some 200,000 died in the blaze itself, while another 80,000 died in a neighboring building after the fire cut off its electricity, causing fans to stop working and the chickens to overheat.
Butcher said getting water to the burning structures was difficult.
"There are no fire hydrants out here so we had to have all water tanked in by trucks and this thing was hot," he said. "It started at that one building that way to the left and we thought we was making headway but it was so hot the metal was just melting and it just went right over to the next one cause of the heat, and they are aluminum buildings.
The chickens that survived the incident were wandering around among the remains of the destroyed buildings Tuesday morning.
Local and state authorities were investigating the cause of the blaze.