A Co Tyrone farmer has been left devastated after nearly 6,000 chickens were killed following a major farm blaze.
The fire broke out in a large farm shed on Crosscavanagh Road in Galbally, near Dungannon, on Sunday (13 September).
The cause of the fire is believed to have been 'accidental ignition', according to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS).
The farm supplies Northern Ireland's leading chicken producer, Moy Park.
A spokesperson for NIFRS said: “At 10:37pm on Sunday, firefighters were called to a fire involving a large farm shed.
“Firefighters worked hard in challenging conditions to prevent the fire spreading and used three jets to extinguish the blaze.
"Approximately 6,000 chickens were killed in the incident.
“The cause of the fire is believed to have been accidental ignition and the incident was dealt with by 2:33am on Monday, September 14.”
The incident is the second large-scale farm fire to occur in Northern Ireland within the past week.
Around 2,000 pigs were killed on 7 September following an 'accidental' barn fire in Co Down.
How can I prevent fires on the farm?
Farmers are encouraged by rural insurer NFU Mutual to check their fire prevention methods and evacuation procedures:
• Ensure there are sufficient fire extinguishers for the size of buildings and that materials stored are inspected and regularly maintained
• Ensure staff and adult family members know the location of fire extinguishers and how to use them
• Reduce the risk of arson by fencing-off straw stacks and farm buildings
• Store hay and straw at least 10m from other buildings
• Put in place an evacuation plan for staff and livestock
• Store petrol, diesel and other fuels in secure areas
• Schedule regular electrical safety checks
• Invite your local fire and rescue service to visit to check water supplies and access routes
If a fire breaks out:
• Call the Fire and Rescue Service without delay
• If possible, send someone to the farm entrance to direct the Fire and Rescue Service to the fire to help save time
• Prepare to evacuate livestock should the fire spread
• Prepare to use your farm machinery to assist the Fire and Rescue Service
• Use the What3Words app to guide emergency services to the exact location of the fire