CHAZY — Fire investigators continued their search for what might have caused a major fire at Giroux's Poultry Farm on Thursday, but no final word has been issued yet.
Investigators from the State Fire Prevention Unit as well as Clinton County and insurance company investigators were at the farm Friday looking through the smoldering pile of debris left behind from the midday blaze.
The fire started shortly after 11 a.m. in one of the barns off Route 9 known as the old Gregware Farm. Flames quickly devoured the 350-foot-long-by-75-foot-wide building that housed 50,000 chickens.
All but six of the birds died in the fire.
"Those six are superheroes to survive something like that," Willie Giroux, who owns the farm with his brother Craig, said.
The barn was one of five at the site that houses brown chickens producing brown eggs in a cage-free environment.
Giroux said despite the loss, the farm's egg supply to its customers will not be interrupted.
"We still have enough to take care of business," he said.
The barn that burned was just built last summer and the chickens were installed in January.
The Girouxs were given the go-ahead from investigators to begin cleanup late Friday afternoon.
Giroux said the cleanup could take several weeks, and will be done by farm crews in-house.
"We are going to get right at it and move forward and rebuild," he said.
The farm has been in the family for four generations since the 1920s, and there had never been a major fire before Thursday.
"We just are so grateful no one was hurt and we really appreciate the work the firefighters did," Craig Giroux said.
"It could have been much worse."
The westerly wind helped keep the flames away from the other barns as about 70 firefighters from 19 fire departments from the county, Vermont and Quebec fought to control the blaze.
By about 3 p.m., the fire was out.
Chazy Fire Chief Michael Cahoon said one end of the barn was smoldering all Thursday night, but it wasn't likely that it would reignite what was left of the barn.
"We just had a fire watch all night," Cahoon said Friday afternoon.
Two firefighters from the department worked in shifts to make sure the fire didn't rekindle.