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16,000 chickens die in shed fire

The shed after firefighters put out the blaze Photo: Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service

Investigations are continuing into the cause of a fire near Carlisle that killed 16,000 chickens.

The blaze broke out in a poultry shed at Spital Syke Farm at Great Orton yesterday afternoon and sent smoke billowing across the Morton and Raffles areas of the city.

Six fire engines and crews from stations across north Cumbria and Gretna tackled the fire.

Firefighters managed to prevent flames spreading to a second shed that also housed thousands of chickens.

"We're devastated, the whole family is devastated. "We're also surprised to see family, friends and neighbours rally round to help us. "The next step is to try to get over it, move on and continue with the business. "The fire brigade has been fantastic and they managed to save the other birds in the other shed, which was our main concern. "We don't know what happened, and we're just waiting to hear back from the fire brigade."

– Craig Norman, Spital Syke Farm
Inside the damaged shed Credit: Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service