UPDATE: 250K birds killed in Ionia Co. poultry ranch fire

Local News

UPDATE (Wednesday 2:12 p.m.) – A massive poultry ranch is back at work today after a devastating fire overnight.  According to a statement from Herb Herbruck, approximately 250,000 hens died in the fire that damaged one of the facility’s buildings Tuesday night.  

Herbruck’s is fully operational today following the fire that destroyed a single building on Tuesday, April 30. No Herbruck’s employees or first responders were injured. The building was occupied by approximately 250,000 hens at the time of the fire and sadly none of the birds in this building survived. We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of our hens. 

A cause of the fire has not been determined. Herbruck says they plan to rebuild the damaged facility.

ORIGINAL STORY: We have new information on a massive fire that tore through a Michigan poultry farm south of Ionia.

The fire was reported around 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 30 at Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch on West Portland Road.

No first responders or workers were injured in the fire, however none of the birds in one of the building’s survived.

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch issued the following statement in response to a fire at its facility on Tuesday, April 30:

“On Tuesday, April 30, Herbruck’s workers at the Ionia facility observed smoke from a barn. The workers immediately contacted the fire department, which arrived at the scene and were able to contain the fire. No Herbruck’s workers or first responders were injured. The one building that was damaged was partially occupied at the time of the fire and sadly none of the birds in this building survived. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our birds.

We are truly thankful for the first responders in Ionia County who quickly responded to this fire and contained the damage to our facility. An investigation of what started the fire is under way and it will likely take several weeks for officials to determine the cause. We will share updates as we have them. We appreciate the community’s heartfelt prayers during this difficult time.”

Kent County 911 received several calls from residents who were concerned over the smell of fire.

Reports came from as far west as the Hudsonville area.

Kent County Emergency Management has advised there was a unique wind pattern that likely carried the “fire smell” from the Ionia County fire scene at Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch, and moved it into Kent County. 

This is the second fire in two years for the ranch.

Click here to learn what a current employee’s father has to say about the fire.

Herbruck’s Poultry Ranch is the largest egg producer in Michigan and the 13th largest in the United States supplying to companies like McDonald’s.

We’re still waiting to find out what may have caused the fire, stay with 6 News for updates on this developing story.

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