ST. GEORGE – Heat lamps are suspected to be a potential cause of a fire that torched a chicken coop and part of a pickup truck in the Little Valley area Thursday morning.
Around 11:40 a.m., on a lot set behind 2271 S. 2350 South, a sizable chicken coop caught fire and soon spread to a pickup truck parked nearby, St. George Fire Chief Robert Stoker said.
The chicken coop was set on a lower elevation of 10-12 feet below the truck, Stoker said, but as the fire grew it hit the truck and torched the engine compartment and cab before being extinguished.
The fire primarily did not spread beyond the chicken coop and truck as the surrounding area was fairly open.
Following the fire, preliminary investigation into the cause points to heat lamps as the potential culprit.
“(The property owner) stated he had some heat lamps in there for the chickens to keep them warm,” Stoker said. “We’re thinking that might be the cause.”
Heat lamps have been the cause of numerous fires, the fire chief said.
The lamps and other heat-generated devices used to keep livestock and other animals warm may sometimes be used in a spot near combustible materials, or not be securely fastened in place.
A lamp could get bumped by a livestock animal and drop onto a pile of straw or other combustible material and eventually ignite a fire, Stoker said.
While no one was harmed by the fire, the chickens within the coop did not survive. Damages are estimated at $4,000-$5,000.
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