Former employee reacts to Ionia Co. poultry ranch fire

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BERLIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) – A massive fire tears through a mid-Michigan poultry farm.

The smoke could be seen for miles as firefighters spent the evening battling a major fire at the largest egg producer in Michigan: Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch in Ionia County.

One man 6 News caught up with tonight used to work at the ranch and says this situation is heartbreaking.

“It’s devastating because our son is working in the barns right now,” said Doug Minier, and Ionia County resident who used to work at the ranch. “They got this fire and they’re not even evacuating them right now. I don’t know why.”

Minier was sitting in a parking lot near Herbruck’s Ranch earlier this evening waiting for an update from his son, as flames tore through the facility.

“We’re just sitting here waiting to hear what’s going on because he’s still up there,” said Minier.

This ranch currently houses tens of thousands of chickens. Minier says it has a big impact not only here in mid-Michigan, but across the country.

“They supply Mcdonald’s and Meijer and places like Sam’s Club and all that from Canada to Florida,” said Minier.

The fire started in a back barn just after 6 p.m. 

Police haven’t released any details as to how it started or if people or animals are hurt.

“This is going to put a damper on it for a little while until they get it back up and running,” said Minier.

But Minier says the community will come together to get past this difficult time.

“They’ll pick up, rebuild, and be back at it again, you know, keep on supplying the eggs to them,” said Minier. “When there’s a way there’s a will and they’ll do it.”

Authorities haven’t told us what started this massive fire, but we will of course keep you updated as we learn more. 

Stay with 6 News as this story develops.

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