Local News

Fire At NCSU Poultry Facility To Have Far-Reaching Effects

Posted September 17, 2002

— Fire swept through a North Carolina State University research barn, killing thousands of chickens Tuesday morning.

Researchers said the impact of the fire at the $300,000 research facility on Lake Wheeler Road is serious.

"This particular facility was a part of what is arguably the largest broiler/breeder research program in the world," researcher Dr. John Brake said.

Brake is well-respected for his discoveries at N.C. State.

"Dr. Brake is very well known for his work on broiler/breeder research, and so it'll be felt all over the world that we lost part of the facilities that he uses," said Dr. Gerald Havenstein of the N.C. State poultry science department.

The loss will be felt in North Carolina, too.

"One of our issues in North Carolina agriculture, obviously, is lowering phosphorus pollution in our rivers and runoff. We actually had birds in this house that had no added phosphorus in the feed," Brake said.

Some of the research was complete and Brake will be able to move forward. About 2,000 birds died in the chicken house built 15 years ago.

"I've been here 30 years as a student and facility member, so I thought we were certainly overdue for this. But you know, it's one of those kind of odd things that happens," Brake said.

Officials said an electrical malfunction appears to be at fault.

One fire fighter was treated for minor burns and released from a local hospital.

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