Coop Fire


10 Years
Jan 12, 2010
Anderson, CA
This is a sad story that I just want to be a reminder or a warning to everyone that will be brooding chicks this spring.

I consider myself to be ultra careful with my heat lamps and the way I use them. This weekend I learned otherwise, but my husband, who is a fire inspector BTW, tells me that it might not have been my fault. But either way the results were the same. I looked out my window Friday night and my chicken shed was FULLY engulfed in fire. Needless to say I lost my shed and my chicks.

I had about 40 birds in there. They ranged in ages from 2 years to 3 weeks, with the most being about 3.5 months. I am absolutley devasted. I have never lost an animal to something that I could have should have been able to prevent. I had the heat lamp tied to the frame of the metal shed, and it was resting on the top of a wire cage about 3 feet off the ground. I always made sure that the lamp could not touch the floor. Even now I can see no way that it started the fire. There is the remote chance that there was an electrical fire, there were a few mice that I kept seeing in the shed, so I would like to blame it on them. But either way, again, that won't bring back my chicks or my shed. There is also the chance that the bailing twine that I used to tie the lamp to the shed came in contact with the reflector around the bulb, but I always check for that too. I honestly thought I had it under control.

I need some more fuzzy butts right now, but until we rebuild I have no place to raise them. I am investing in another way to brood them, probably an Ecoglow. I am scared to death to use a heat lamp ever again. I always always always make sure the lamp can't hit the floor, but something went terribly wrong and my babies paid the price.

12 of the chicks that were about 3 months old were headed to the school where I work to populate a new coop. I am just so very very sad. I can't stand to think about the fear that those little creatures had to have felt, never never never again under my watch.

Please learn from my mistake and my pain. Don't put yourself or your family or animals in harms way. I am thankful that my husband was home and that we had some large fire extinguishers at hand and he was able to keep the fire from spreading to my main coop or our truck or his workshop. It could have been MUCH MUCH worse for us overall, but I am broken hearted.

Please please be safe and be careful, very very careful. The results can be tragic. Never in a millon years would I have thought this would happen to me. Being married for 30 years to a fireman there are just some things I thought I had under control.

I learned my lesson. It was a painful one.


9 Years
Nov 2, 2010
orange va
That is horrible,sorry it happened to you. I am always worried over my heat lamps and have changed it last month to just a 100 watt bulb.I couldn't stand worrying over it every day and night. I still worry over the light bulb ,just not as much.It still gets hot but no where near as hot as the heat lamps.
I want to run outside right now and check it .
Thanks for posting this as a reminder to all of us that it can happen even when we think it can not.
Sorry again that you lost your birds and building.Don't beat yourself up too hard as you had no idea it would happen.


9 Years
Sep 25, 2010
Kansas City
I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for posting though, hopefully it will save some one else from going through the same heartache as you.

7L Farm

9 Years
Jul 22, 2010
Anderson, Texas
Thats terrible!! I hate heat lamps.I quit using them. I now brood with the Eco Brooder from Brinsea. They use less E & the chicks seem happier & I sleep better.


Veggie Chick
12 Years
Mar 22, 2010
Saratoga County, NY
Yah, I used to brood with a heat lamp in my house. I was scared, no matter how secure it looked, that I'd come home to a burned down house. =( I now have three ecoglows and LOVE them.

I am so sorry for your losses.


8 Years
Jun 29, 2011
I too had a fire in my coop, but mine was last year. Mine was def. from the heat lamp. Some how my chickens got it dislodged from where I had it and it got to the floor. I too looked out my window, but I saw thick black smoke billowing out from around the doors. I flew out of the house and opened the coop doors. The fire had just started, thankfully.. I was able to get my chicks out of there and then I worked on getting the fire out. I ended up with second degree burns on my one hand. We did get the fire out and managed to not loose our coop/shed. I swore from that day on that there would be no more heat lamps in my coops, and I have not used any since.

I also would like to stress the DANGER in using heat lamps in the coop. I am going to build a special "brooder" where the heat lamp or heat source will have no way of moving to cause a fire. This is the only solution that I can come up with so that I can raise early 'spring' chicks.

Thank you for bringing this serious issue to attention babsbag, I am sorry for your loss
. Please head our warnings, if you choose to use a heat lamp, be VERY carefull and keep a watch on things.
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