EPPING — Kim Rick calls him the “miracle rooster.”
A fast-moving fire that swept through her barn early Monday morning killed four roosters and about 30 hens and turkeys, but one rooster flew the coop to a nearby shed for safety.
“I don’t know if it caved in and something went on top of him or what. The door was completely shut and he survived,” she said as she held the lucky rooster she has named Miracle.
The fire broke out about 4 a.m. and destroyed a 30- by 40-foot barn at 314 Prescott Road.
Rick’s husband, Vinny, said he awoke to what sounded like gunshots. He looked outside and saw the barn ablaze.
“The explosions were ammunition that I had stored, but by that time the barn was engulfed in flames and I was not going to jeopardize my life running out there. I had propane tanks that were going to be used for maple syrup boiling this spring. I knew the propane could blow up at any time and it did,” he said.
Fire Chief Don DeAngelis said it appears a heat lamp used for some baby chickens might have started the fire.
No injuries were reported, but the frigid temperatures created icy conditions for firefighters.
The surviving rooster was one of five in a coop next to the barn where the chickens were living. The fire began in the barn and quickly spread to the coop.
Kim Rick said she has no idea how Miracle could have made it out of the burning coop. She assumed the worst, but then heard a rooster crowing.
“I ran out and he was trying to get into the shed. He just wanted to get in the shed,” she said.
The Ricks have another two dozen chickens and two other roosters in a shed on another part of the property. Miracle was familiar with the shed because that was his home before he was moved to the coop.
She quickly grabbed the year-old rooster and made sure he wasn’t hurt. He had no burns and appeared to be OK.
“Even his feet were fine,” she said.
The bird didn’t have a name before the fire but the Ricks decided he should be named after his harrowing ordeal. They considered names like Smoky and Fireball, but settled on Miracle.
“He’s a miracle,” she said.