Skip to content
March 05, 2024

Fire claims flock, poultry house on Nov. 7

Firefighters are shown on the scene of a chicken house fire on Arthur Jenkins Lane in Taylorsville on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.

Firefighters are shown on the scene of a chicken house fire on Arthur Jenkins Lane in Taylorsville on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.


A local poultry grower lost a chicken house and over 5,000 chickens in a large fire on Monday, Nov. 7, at 253 Arthur Jenkins Lane, located off Sipe Road in Taylorsville.

The fire broke out mid-afternoon and was reported to Alexander County 911 shortly after 3 p.m. by a neighbor, according to personnel at the scene.

Taylorsville, Ellendale, and Wittenburg fire departments were dispatched. Later on, Bethlehem Community Fire & Rescue was dispatched for additional manpower.

The ruined chicken house was one of a pair at the property, which is listed by Alexander County Tax Office as belonging to J. Gail Smith and Kathy Smith.

Contacted by phone, Alexander County Fire Marshal Russell Greene told The Times Monday that the fire origin is unknown at the present time. He said the owner’s son was on the farm and heard an explosion. He came out of the house and saw smoke, making a short video of the scene. Ventilation fans soon turned on, spreading the fire throughout the poultry house.

Greene noted that a flock of chickens was present in the poultry house when the blaze occurred.

Flames had completely engulfed the poultry house by before firemen could arrive. The firefighters’ main avenue of attack, said Greene, was to protect the Smith’s other poultry house and their nearby home.

It was observed at the scene that firefighters sprayed water on a propane tank, which sits between the two chicken houses, in order to protect it from heat.

Greene estimated the property damage at approximately $250,000.

“Our family would like to thank all the responding firefighters,” said Johnny M. Smith. “We’d like to thank Whitt Daniels of Wittenburg Fire Department for helping keep the grass fire, started by the poultry house flames, away from our barns and home.”

Johnny Smith noted that the flock which perished had between 5,000 to 6,000 birds.


  1. Johnny M. Smith on November 8, 2016 at 6:23 am

    I would like to personally think Wittenberg fireman Whitt Daniels for his effort. Mr Daniels went out of his way to make sure the fire didn’t reach my barn or my house. At one time mr. Daniels and myself were the only ones fighting the grass fire between the poultry house and my personal dwelling.
    Thanks to all the fire fighters that helped with the fire.

  2. Dale Little on November 8, 2016 at 7:47 am

    No estimate on how many chickens were in the house? “A flock” is so vague as to be useless. A flock is how many? Five, ten, a hundred? Loss of the chicken house is a major loss, but chickens would be also.

    • Editor on November 8, 2016 at 9:42 am

      The Times has learned the flock consisted of between 5,000 and 6,000 chickens.

Leave a Comment