Fire levels Langley chicken barn

A poultry barn in rural Langley near Peterson Road Elementary burned to the ground Friday morning.

Neighbours near the 4700 block of 236th Street reported hearing explosions or loud bangs as the fire started.

“The first bang was about quarter to five this morning,” said neighbour Mark Dieleman.

Dieleman, who lives a block away, was woken up by the first bang. 

“It was loud, it shook the whole house,” Dieleman said.

The second, smaller bang came about five minutes later.

When he went outside to see what was going on, “the whole sky was all lit up,” Dieleman said.

The explosions were likely caused by welding equipment and compressed gases, said assistant fire chief Bruce Ferguson. The fire started near a workshop in the barn containing the equipment.

Dozens of Langley Township firefighters were at the scene working to extinguish the blaze. 

Ferguson said every single firehall in the Township sent at least some firefighters.

The barn had fully collapsed at some point, but at 8 a.m. parts of the barn were still on fire. Crews were using a large backhoe to move pieces of metal sheeting. A long row of tanker trucks were on scene to deliver water, as the area has no hydrants and is dependent on wells.

The fire crews would be there all day, mopping up and putting out the last of the flames, said Ferguson.

Dieleman knows the owners of the barn, and said it didn’t have any birds inside at the time.

“That one was empty, they just cleaned it out last week,” he said.

No people were injured, either on the farm or firefighters, said Ferguson.

Investigators would look into the cause of the fire, but there was no indication early Friday what might have sparked the blaze.

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