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By Kathy Chaffin
Salisbury Post
CHINA GROVE ó About 100 chickens ó 60 of them chicks ó died Tuesday in a late-morning fire.
A neighbor called 911 at 11:30 a.m. to report the fire at a chicken house off Thunder Road. Martin Whitson, assistant chief of the Atwell Fire Department, said that same neighbor was able to open one of the gates, saving five to seven adult chickens.
Whitson said the fire was fully involved when firefighters arrived. The wind played a factor in the flames spreading quickly, he said.
Firefighters had the fire under control in 11 minutes and totally extinguished within 15 minutes, he said.
Deborah Horne, fire inspector and investigator for Rowan County, said the chicken house was owned by Charles Brown, who lives in front of it at 210 Edgewood Circle. Brown told investigators he raised the chickens to show.
Horne said the fire is believed to have been caused by a heat lamp.
“He had just installed a heat lamp earlier in the morning,” she said. “We did find the remnants of the heat lamp, and we know the fire started in that area.”
Whitson said 22 firefighters from the Atwell, Enochville, Landis and China Grove departments responded to the fire.
“We worked very well together with our mutual-aid departments,” he said, “and were able to effectively put out the fire due to the good working relationship that we have.”
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Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249 or kchaffin@salisburypost.com.

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