Heat lamp caused fire at school’s chick house

LAKE PLACID – A heat lamp inside the chick house at North Country School caused hay to catch fire Tuesday morning.

John Culpepper, the school’s director of facilities and sustainability, told the Enterprise this morning that about 50 chicks were lost in the fire.

“The building is repairable,” he added. “We’re beginning to assess what we need to do today. … Our farm, although it suffered a fire, is back up and running, and the remaining chickens are healthy and happy.”

The Lake Placid Volunteer Fire Department responded to reports of a fire at the school at 7 a.m. with four trucks and 23 members. The 12-foot by 12-foot structure that houses baby chickens until they are old enough to be moved elsewhere caught fire because a heat lamp had been placed too close to the hay, according to fire driver Greg Hayes.

Hayes said the fire wasn’t too bad when crews arrived.

“They had a garden hose that they were using upon our arrival,” Hayes said. “They were working on getting as many of the chicks out as they could and pulling the hay out, too.”

The Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department provided stand-by assistance at the Lake Placid firehouse. Firefighters were back in service by 9:02 a.m.