AWENDAW, SC (WCSC) - Investigators are working to determine what caused a fire early Monday morning at an Awendaw bird breeding business that housed hundreds of exotic birds.
Firefighters arrived at Delorce’s Bird Barn in the 1300 block of Guerins Bridge Road just after 4 a.m. after someone driving by the barn saw the fire and called 911, according to Awendaw- McClellanville Consolidated Fire District Battalion Chief Michael Bowers.
Bowers said at least 200 to 400 exotic birds were inside with flames coming from the roof of the building.
A portion of the barn collapsed during the fire.
Firefighters estimate that between 82 and 100 birds died and that more than 100 survived. At least 20 birds escaped, fire crews said.
Crews are now investigating the cause and putting out hot spots. Nobody was inside the building at the time.
Bowers says Animal Protective Services is at the scene and that some birds were inside the building when the roof collapsed, but a bulk of the birds are in, “good condition.”
“From what we’ve seen they were very well taken care of," Bowers said. "It was a great setup. Unfortunately, the fire has done a lot of damage.”
A listing online states the owner has been “raising hand-fed birds for over 30 years."
Officials say the birds are in the owner’s care.