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Riverhead firefighters pluck chickens from fiery coop

Riverhead firefighters saved six chickens from imminent death in Calverton Sunday morning when their chicken coop went up in flames.

The Riverhead Fire Department received a call for a working structure fire on Williams Way South, off of Edwards Avenue, at 5:46 a.m. When Riverhead Town police arrived, they reported the coop was fully engulfed in flames, according to Fire Chief Kevin Brooks.

The 10-by-20 structure was in the back, left-hand corner of a large piece of property and not near any houses, Chief Brooks said. However, a small shed was right behind it. The first responding fire officers were able to stop the fire from spreading to the shed using water cans they carry in their chiefs’ vehicles, he said.

With fire substation 3 on Twomey Avenue, less than a half-mile away, as a crow flies according to chief, firefighters were not far behind. “When the truck got there, the guys went in there and grabbed the chickens,” he said. “We noticed they were huddled up in the back corner.”

Firefighters saved six of the eight chickens, the chief said. Another one was found running around the yard, and the remaining one was believed to have made it out alive too, he added.

They then turned their attention to the burning chicken coop, which they doused with water and quickly put out the flames, the chief said.

The homeowner told the chief there was a heat plate in the chicken coop to keep the chickens warm in the frigid temperature. It was the only source of heat in the coop, the chief said. He did not believe the fire was suspicious. “It didn’t require any further investigation,” he said.

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