A fire at ISE America Inc.'s Warwick, Md., facility destroyed three of the farm's nine henhouses and damaged a fourth, resulting in the loss of 300,000 hens and doing an estimated $1.4 million in damages, according to officials. ISE America is a Galena, Md.-based integrated egg producer and processor.
According to Paul Fischer, senior project manager for ISE and owner of the damaged farm, the fire destroyed House 2, House 3 and House 4 while damaging House 5. House 2 and House 4 each contained about 68,000 hens and House 3 held approximately 85,000 hens. House 5 contained about 144,000 hens, said Fischer, more than half of which died in the fire. "We lost about 50% to 60% of them, maybe from smoke inhalation," said Fischer. "We had to turn the fans off so the fire wouldn't spread any more than it already was." In addition to hen loss, the wood-framed henhouses contained commercial hen cages, industrial fans and egg production equipment.
Modified egg production is continuing in the undamaged remaining henhouses while officials continue to investigate the cause of the fire.