Mt. Jackson barn fire kills 17,000 birds

Officials say 17,000 birds died in the huge fire. Photo: Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue

A poultry barn fire in rural Shenandoah County on Wednesday night killed 17,000 birds that were housed inside, officials say.

Shenandoah County Fire officials say the fire broke out in a barn in Mount Jackson, about 45 miles south of Winchester, at about 9:30 Wednesday night. The rural location of the barn and the fire forced firefighters to shuttle more than 20,000 gallons of water to the scene from a nearby farm pond.

Officials say that the barn contained as many as 17,000 birds, all of which perished in the fire. Two other nearby poultry barns went undamaged.

Firefighters are unsure of what started the fire, but an investigation into the cause continues.

Units from seven different fire agencies - Mt. Jackson, New Market, Orkney Springs, Conicville, Edinburg, Woodstock and Shenandoah County - all responded to the fire.