Weekend Fire Kills 2,500 Chickens on S.D. Farm

August 3, 2015 12:18 PM

Nearly 2,500 chickens died in a weekend fire at a Minnehaha County, S.D. farm while the farmer and his wife were in Sioux Falls, having a baby.

The cause of Sunday's early-morning blaze in a building at the Hanisch Farm near Humboldt wasn't immediately determined. Owner Jared Hanisch told KELO-TV that he suspects either an electrical problem with a refrigerator or a malfunctioning battery in a pay loader.

Family friend Dylan Hagerty was at the farm with the Hanisches' three children when the fire started.

"There was nothing we could do besides watch it burn," he said.

Hanisch estimated damages at about $100,000 but said he is staying optimistic. No one was hurt, and his farm also hasn't been touched by the bird flu that has devastated many other poultry operations in the region.

"I am feeling disappointed, but we can rebuild," Hanisch said. "We carry the insurance for that aspect of it, and the hard times, we'll get through those too."

Hanisch has another reason to remain upbeat — his new baby girl.

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