YONG PENG: Some 74,000 chicks were reared in a coop but none of them were alive by dawn.
A 6am fire at the coop near Tanjung Semberong here resulted in losses exceeding RM1mil.
A heater inside the coop is believed to have accidentally dropped to the floor and started the blaze.
The shouts of four workers alerted the farm owners – Lim Kee Yong, 49, and her husband Lee Swee Fong, 50.
“My husband tried to switch off the heater gas fuse but all of a sudden, the fire spread very fast to the whole coop.
“There was nothing we could do. Luckily, an adjacent coop was spared,” she said. She added that it was the first such incident throughout their 16 years of rearing chickens.
Most of the dead chicks were just 16 days old.
Yong Peng fire station chief Mohd Asroy Mohd Yahaya said they received a distress call at about 7.40am.
Two fire engines with 14 firemen reached the scene within 10 minutes.
“By then, the fire had almost destroyed the entire two-storey chicken coop.
“We managed to bring the fire under control and put it out completely by 8am,” he said.
Mohd Asroy said his men managed to prevent the fire from spreading to the other coop, about 3m away.
The cause of the fire is still being investigated.