A turkey shed on a farm in rural McGaheysville was destroyed by a fire early Friday morning, killing about 11,500 turkeys.
That's half the flock on the Rion Family Farm who has a contract to raise turkeys for Cargill Inc.
The other half of the flock is located in a turkey shed 60 yards from the one that burned to the ground.
Fire crews were able to save the second shed by focusing their water on two propane tanks that were close to the fire and could have exploded.
"We would have lost both houses. They were 1,000 gallon tanks," said John Huddle, assistant Fire Marshal with the Rockingham County Fire Department.
"It was a significant fire with many companies involved. It was in a rural part of the county, so water supply was an issue. A lot of tankers had to be utilized to shuttle water back and forth," said Huddle.
The Rion Family Farm is insured. The estimated loss is between $250,000 and $300,000, according to the Rockingham County Fire Department.
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