Only the quick-thinking actions of hatchery employees saved the chicks.
According to Tshwane Emergency Services (TES), the building in which the fire broke out belonged to Eagle’s Pride Hatcheries (EPH).
TES spokesperson Johan Pieterse told Farmer’s Weekly that when the first fire truck arrived at the premises in the early evening of 20 July, it was discovered that the only suitable water supply to refill the truck was approximately 7km away. As a result, reinforcement fire trucks and fire-fighting personnel had to be called in to help fight the fire.
“About 20 men and five appliances were on scene to extinguish the blaze. Chemicals inside the building caught fire and that caused rapid fire spread and full protective clothing had to be worn all the time,” said Pieterse.
EPH marketing manager Gerrie Venter praised TES for its “rapid response and assistance” and also thanked members of the local community policing forum, the local community, and the Roodeplaat Fire Association, for helping to get the fire under control.
“Fortunately, no one was injured or admitted to hospital. One person was treated on-site for smoke inhalation. The chicks were quickly moved to other suitable facilities,” said Venter.
Both EPH and TES said a full investigation was underway to determine the cause of the fire.