Barn fire at Ohio poultry operation kills 22,000 chickens

Fire crews at Stivers High School (WDTN Photo)
Fire crews at Stivers High School (WDTN Photo)

ASHLAND, Ohio (AP) — More than 22,000 chickens are dead after a fire at a barn in north-central Ohio.

The smoke was visible from miles away as the fire burned Monday at a Mennonite poultry operation in Nova Township, north of Ashland. It took hours for crews from several fire departments to fully extinguish the fire.

Owner Matthew Van Pelt says he was cutting the grass when he noticed a fan blowing out smoke from the barn. The 500-foot-long facility was a total loss. All the chickens inside died, and thousands of eggs were destroyed.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation. Van Pelt says he suspects an electrical issue is to blame.

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