A heat lamp ignited a fire early Tuesday morning, killing chicks and destroying a barn in Greenbank, according to Central Whidbey Island Fire and Rescue Chief Ed Hartin.
Hartin did not know how many chicks had been in the barn at the time of the fire.
The homeowners awoke around 2:40 a.m. and saw flickering in their window, he said. Fire personnel arrived at 2:54 a.m. to find the structure on Gylany Way mostly engulfed in flames.
Six goats had also been in the barn, but escaped when the blaze began, he said. Some of the crew, once the fire was knocked down, constructed a fence with materials provided by the residents to try and prevent the goats from escaping the property, Hartin said.
“The goats were very interested in what was going on,” he said.
Ten people from Central Whidbey Fire and one person and one water tender from South Whidbey Fire/EMS spent about 20 minutes extinguishing the flames.
Completing this work took longer because the structural damage to the barn made it unsafe for firefighters to enter the building, Hartin said. The last unit left the scene at 4:12 a.m.
The fire chief recommends the use of fully enclosed lamps for chicken brooders that won’t ignite bedding if they fall.