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Thousands of chickens burned in massive Pasco County barn fire

Firefighters said three barns are on fire and each barn has about 80,000 chickens inside.

DADE CITY, Fla. — Fire rescue crews in Pasco County are working to put out three chicken coops that are on fire. 

Firefighters said there are about 60,000 to 80,000 chickens in each of the coops.

The fire was reported early Thursday morning at Cal-Maine Foods in Dade City. Farmworkers who live on the property reported the fire. Firefighters say they had to bring tankers full of water to battle the fire because this is a very rural area.

Fire crews from Sumter, Hernando, and Polk counties were called in to assist.
They were able to save five other barns from burning.

Fire Rescue Division Chief Shawn Whited says firefighters expect to be there for several hours and you may hear large explosions in the area.

 "Some of the hazards that we're dealing with is some of the equipment is powered by propane," Whited explained.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Whited says the State Fire Marshal will be out to investigate and over the next couple of hours, firefighters will be monitoring hot spots. 

This is a developing story. Stay with 10 Tampa Bay for updates.

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