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300,000 hens die in fire

LA GRANGE, Wis (WSAU-Wheeler News)  Fire-fighters returned yesterday to an egg farm near Whitewater that killed over 300,000 hens. The blaze started Friday night at the S & R Egg Farm in the Walworth County town of La Grange. It started in one of 14 barns, and the cause remains under investigation. There were no personal injuries.

La Grange Fire Chief John Duerst said the building was about 300-by-90-feet, and three stories tall. Up to 200 fire-fighters from 55 departments battled the blaze. Duerst said Water had to be brought in from seven miles away. It took until late Saturday morning to get the fire under control, and units returned yesterday to extinguish remaining embers.

The Schimpf family owns the egg farm. Its Web site said it planned to re-build the structure, and all 13 of its other barns were still producing eggs. S & R has about 155 employees. Before the fire, it had around two million hens.