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Three chickens die in Phoenix coop fire

Three chickens died when their coop caught fire from a heat lamp early Monday morning, but firefighters a block away were able to keep the blaze from spreading to the home in the 100 block of First Street in Phoenix.

"The occupant was fortunate they were within a block of the fire station," Jackson County Fire District 5 Division Chief Darin Welburn said. 

Welburn said firefighters in the Second Street station were able to see the smoke when neighbors reported the fire at about 6:30 a.m.

Firefighters arrived to find a backyard chicken coop engulfed in flames. Welburn said the fire appeared to have been started by a clamp-style electrical heat lamp that had been used to keep the chickens warm. The lamp came in contact with mulch and other combustible materials, he said.

Welburn said the heat lamp was hanging above a doorway in the chicken coop. "It sounds like he'd anchored it above a piece of board or something," Welburn said.

With temperatures anticipated to drop near the teens this week, Welburn cautioned residents to be careful when using heat lamps to keep animals warm.

"You would think that it'd be common sense that heat lamps generate heat, but I don't think that's the case for everybody," Welburn said.

Welburn said to make sure extension cords have a heavy enough gauge to handle the wattage, that the heat lamps are properly secured in a way that they can't be knocked over by livestock, and to make sure smoke detectors are working. 

"Even the normal stuff, they should be UL approved," Welburn said.

Reach newsroom assistant Nick Morgan at nmorgan@mailtribune.com.