A fire at a poultry farm Tuesday was the latest in a series of unfortunate incidents on or near a stretch of Highway 19A north of Courtenay.
As many as 1,000 chickens were killed in the ear-morning blaze at Paradise Meadows Farm in Black Creek, an abattoir that was established in 2009.
Oyster River Fire Department Chief Niels Holbek said a barn was fully involved by the time crews arrived.
“Very close quarters to work around here. The power lines are in our way, but we got it out, but someone’s livelihood has been jeopardized, unfortunately. Some propane tanks, a few explosions when we got here,” he told media.
Holbek added there are about five buildings on site, and firefighters were able to mostly contain the fire to one structure, but the fire did reach into an adjoining barn.
“The first thing is firefighter safety; we’re watching those power lines,” Holbek continued. “We had some issues around collapse. We couldn’t put anybody in this building — it was fully involved anyways — and then of course we were trying to save the assets for the owner.”
He noted the owner is trying to find another location for all of the birds.
“We’ve got an excavator but we can’t put anybody inside yet — it’s too risky. We’ll try and carefully pull the roof off and capture the birds and relocate them,” he said.
The fire caused an estimated $100,000 damage. The cause is still under investigation.
There have been two fatal vehicular accidents nearby on Highway 19A within the past two weeks.