Bethel, UK: 15,000 breeding foie gras ducks incinerated in fire
- Original post at:
Warehouse fire kills 15,000 ducks
Flash Player image in "Photo Gallery" at:
By Victor Whitman
October 31, 2007
Bethel - Some 15,000 breeding ducks were incinerated in a fire just
last night near Swan Lake.
Towering flames that could be seen half way across the county ripped
through a warehouse rented by the Hudson Valley Foie Gras, destroying
the 30-by-450 foot warehouse, a garage containing equipment, and a
The fire also damaged two mobile homes, where workers were staying at
the plant on Fittkau Road. Nobody was injured.
"It was very intense for quite some time," said Mark Pennell, chief
of the Kauneonga Lake fire department, standing near the charred wood
beams and twisted tin panelling that was still smoking this morning.
"You could see the glow. It was like sunrise."
Several volunteer fire companies arrived shortly after the fire
erupted at midnight, but were helpless to stop the flames. No water
was available on site.
Hoses had to be run for a mile to Airport Road. Tanker trucks
shuttled back and forth from a pond at the fire training center three
At the height of the fire, a tremendous amount of duck feces oozed
out of one side of the building.
Investigators believe the fire started in the garage, where the
machinery and the heating system for the plant was located. The fire
then jumped to the main building.
Exhaust fans used to cool the building sucked the flames through the
three stories. The building and garage burned to the foundation.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Pennell said.
The lost ducks were specially selected from France and used
exclusively for breeding, Hudson Valley owner Izzy Yanay said.
Yanay could not place a value on the loss, but that it was
considerable and could not have come at a worse time. The specialty
duck livers produced by the company are most in demand around the
Foie Gras production is controversial. Hudson Valley Foie Gras, the
nation's largest producer, has come under attack by animal rights
But Yanay believes the fire was accidental.
"It is not going to take long before we have a solution," he said.
"We won't have a problem with production."