LEBANON, Conn. (WTNH) — Video sent in by News8 viewer Kurt Bender, shows there wasn’t much firefighters could do to stop a massive fire from destroying chicken coop number 53 at the Moark Egg Farm but they were able to stop it from spreading to the coops next to it.
There are 13 coops on the Lebanon farm and they’re all connected by an automated conveyer belt system which sends all the eggs to a central processing plant.
27 years ago to the day another fire destroyed two coops killing a total of 216,000 chickens.
“It is a large production here. Largest in New England that I know of,” said Lebanon Fire Marshall Scott Shuett.
“Traveled through that main conveyer belt system and so we worked real quick to make sure that didn’t happen,” says Lebanon Fire Lt. Jay Schall.
Firefighters were successful in keeping the fire to one coop but still 80,000 birds were killed.
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“It is a large production here. Largest in New England that I know of,” says Scott Shuett who is Lebanon’s fire marshal. He has now witnessed both fires and both losses.
“I’m gonna guess at least one egg per chicken so that’s 80,000 thousand eggs right there,” says Shuett.
“I don’t really think we’re going to see an impact in the supermarket,” says Todge Armata who owns Ted’s Foods in nearby Hebron.
He says while 80 thousand is a lot there are millions of chickens in the region and most likely close to a million on this farm alone.
“They probably have a cycle of chickens coming along that can fill in the process and fill in the void of the eggs,” says Armata.
Firefighters are now literally digging for answers using an excavator. Back in 1989 a fan seized and overheated causing that fire which didn’t stop this longtime egg operation.
“The management is desperately trying to get back up and operational as quick as possible,” says Shuett. “I know the other side is fine and there was no damage to the egg processing part of it.”
Shuett says it is more likely than not that at least one motor in the coop’s conveyor belt system overheated causing Tuesday’s fire.