West Columbia chicken farm fire sends smelly smoke into the air

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A hazardous materials team helped contain a fire at a chicken farm in West Columbia Tuesday afternoon.

West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall said firefighters are still battling a fire in one building at the Columbia Farms Poultry Plant.

Fire Chief Wyatt Coleman said the fire started shortly before 7:00pm at the Columbia Farms Poultry Plant on Sunset Boulevard.

Sherry Chen owns the Egg Roll Station down the street. A customer told her about the scene right outside her window. "We just went outside and look and there's really a lot of smoke," said Chen. "Black smoke."

So much of it that police shut down Sunset Boulevard in front of Chen's business, forcing her to close early. "They blocked the street all around the building," said Chen. "This is rush hour and dinner time, so this hurt a little bit."

Firefighters say the fire started inside a water treatment building adjacent to the factory. No one was inside the burning building, but the plant was evacuated for safety.

Firefighters say chlorine tablets were inside the water treatment facility, but they weren't affected by the flames.

The fire comes just days after more than 15,000 chickens died when fire engulfed a 1,000-square foot chicken coop in Ridgeville.

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