3,000 chickens killed in farm fire

PELKIE — An estimated 3,000 chickens were killed in a fire at Byler Family Farms in Pelkie Saturday.

According to a story by the Houghton Mining Gazette, the fire was reported at about 12:30 p.m., said Pelkie Fire Chief Dick Haagsma. Crews were on scene for about four-and-a-half hours, returning a couple of hours later to check for hot spots.

Two barns and a semitrailer were totaled in the fire, Haagsma said.

The cause of the fire is undetermined. A state fire marshal was notified and will investigate the scene, Haagsma said. Six departments responded to the scene, Haagsma said.

“The high winds caused a problem with putting it out,” he said. “We had all the departments there mainly for water support.”

Daniel Byler, owner of Byler Family Farm, believes the cause to be electrical.

“We had just installed some new equipment about three weeks earlier,” he said.

Byler estimates it will cost about $250,000 to rebuild operations. It could take six months or longer, he said.

Anyone who wishes to make donations can send them to 16118 Pine Creek Rd, Pelkie, MI.

The farm sells to more than 20 locations through the western Upper Peninsula, including Roy’s Pasties & Bakery, Cafe Rosetta and most area grocery stories, Byler said.