ROGGEN, Colo. (KDVR) – Roughly half a million chickens perished in a fire at a Weld County, Colorado egg farm Monday afternoon, authorities said.
The fire at Moark Hatcheries was reported at about 1:30 p.m.
SkyFOX aerial footage showed several buildings ablaze and a large plume of smoke that was visible from several miles away.
“It’s beyond words,” one witness said as she looked at the fire scene in disbelief. “It’s sad.”
According to Weld County Undersheriff Margie Martinez, three buildings housing chickens used for egg production were destroyed.
Wade Whitfield, whose company delivers eggs from the egg farm to local stores, estimates 500,000 chickens died in the fire.
He says the egg farm supplies many Wal-Marts, King Soopers and other stores in metro Denver.
Huge plumes of smoke could be seen from as far south as Westminster.
Firefighters were hampered by limited water supplies. Tankers carrying water transported it from nearby water sources to the fire all afternoon and into the evening hours.
Neighbors, who pulled off the road to watch, say the fire is devastating, both financially and because of all the animal’s lives that were lost.
Firefighters have not yet determined the cause of the fire.
Fire crews from Wiggins, Hudson and Fort Lupton continued to battle the fire late into the afternoon.
No human injuries were reported.
This story was first published by affiliate KDVR in Denver, Colo.