PORTLAND -- The Portland Fire Bureau said that two urban chicken coop fires on Thanksgiving are part of a trend of animal-related fires on the rise.
The first fire was at around 9:45 a.m. Thursday in the 4900 block of SE79th Ave., where crews found a detached garage in flames. The homeowner told firefighters that the blaze was started by a heat lamp inside the chicken coop, causing an estimated $35,000 worth of damage to the garage.
The second fire was in the 2400 block of SE71st Ave. at around 8:30 p.m., and crews suspect that a heat lamp may have been responsible for a small fire around the chicken coop and a detached garage. There was no serious damage -- and neither the homeowners nor the chickens were injured -- but neighbors described a hectic scene.
We came running out and all of a sudden there were flames a mile high, said Barbara Barry. The firemen opened the chicken coop, and all of the chickens came pouring out.
A firefighter on scene said rescuing the chickens was the easy part, catching them after the fire was the hard part, said Fire Bureau spokesman Paul Corah.
Corah said the city has seen a three-fold increase in the number of fires in urban farms in the past two years.
We expect to see an increase in animal-related fires said Corah. The City reminds citizens that you can only have three chickens per household, and yes, no roosters.
The Portland Fire Bureau said heat lamps can be as hot as 500 degrees, creating dangerous conditions. Corah recommends using a 100 watt light bulb when you're heating only a few chickens.