Calgary

21,000 chicks die in southern Alberta barn fire

A barn fire north of Lethbridge, Alta., killed 21,000 chicks just after 9 a.m. Saturday.
A barn just outside of Shaughnessy caught on fire Saturday morning, killing 21,000 three-day-old chicks. (RCMP)

A barn fire north of Lethbridge, Alta., killed 21,000 chicks just after 9 a.m. Saturday.

Martin and Colleen Vredegoor, of Vredegoor Farm in Shaughnessy, had just got the chicks two days before, according to Sam West, fire chief in the nearby community of Picture Butte.

The loss is significant, said Colleen Vredegoor.

"It's an absolutely horrible feeling. You have no idea; your whole body just started to tremble looking out the bedroom window and seeing the barn," she said.

Twenty-four firefighters from two rural fire departments responded.

"When I arrived on scene there was smoke and flames coming out of the whole length of the building, out from the eaves," said West.

West said the fire is not considered suspicious, but is under investigation.

There is no damage estimate.