A large fire hit a building used to house exotic birds for a breeder north of Charleston, South Carolina, according to the Awendaw-McClellanville Fire District.
An exotic bird breeder had 200 to 400 birds in the building, officials told WCIV.
“Members of the Charleston County Sheriff’s office, EMS, and our crews made several attempts to rescue as many birds as possible, but it is believed that 80 to 100 birds perished in the fire,” the department said on Facebook.
“Crews used Mt. Pleasant Ladder 505 to remove two trapped birds after the fire was out. Many others are safe, and being cared for by the owner and other bird rescue agencies, to include the Center for Birds of Prey, which is located in Awendaw. Animal Protection Services from Charleston County and Mt. Pleasant also are helping,” the department said.
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“The cause of this fire is under investigation,” the fire department said.
The fire at Delorce’s Bird Barn started around 4 a.m. Monday, WCSC reports.
A little after 8 a.m. Monday, firefighters say there were cleaning up and working to rescue the remaining birds. The department said on Twitter, “Two birds that survived the fire are trapped in their cage. We will be using the ladder truck to get them to safety.”
The department tweeted photos Monday morning of crews rescuing birds from cages near what looks to be the top of the building.
When firefighters got to the scene, there were “flames coming from the roof of the building, according to the Awendaw-McClellanville Consolidated Fire District Battalion Chief Michael Bowers,” according to WCSC.
Some birds were still inside the building when the roof collapsed, the battalion chief told WCSC, but most were in “good condition.”
“The flames were out as of 5:50 a.m. although fire crews were still concerned about a potential collapse. ‘A bulk of the building is being supported by massive cages,’ Battalion Chief Bowers said,” WCIV reports.