Fire officials: 80 to 100 exotic birds dead after large fire in Awendaw early Monday

Fire crews battle blaze on Guerins Bridge Road in Awendaw (Source: AMCFD)

AWENDAW, S.C. (WCIV) - Fire officials believe 80 to 100 birds died after a building caught fire in Awendaw early Monday morning.

The fire was reported just before 4:00 a.m. along Guerins Bridge Road, according to Charleston County Consolidated dispatch.

Officials described the structure as a "block building that houses exotic birds." The bird building is one of multiple on the property just off Highway 17.

Heavy fire was showing from the bird building when the first units arrived arrived, according to Awendaw McClellanville Consolidated Fire Battalion Chief Michael Bowers.

The property owner reports 200-300 exotic birds were inside when the fire started, officials said. She says there were 15 different species of birds in the building. Other animals are also on the property, including chickens and geese.

Animal Control units from Charleston County and Mount Pleasant will assist with birds. The property owner also has a relationship with other bird organizations that will help store the birds, Battalion Chief Bowers said.

The flames were put out by 4:40 a.m. with a deck gun and a hose, but fire crews were still concerned about a potential collapse.

"A bulk of the building is being supported by massive cages," Battalion Chief Bowers said.

Fire crews began assisting Animal Control after sunrise. Birds that survived the fire were trapped in their cage.

The fire department visited the residence, located adjacent to the bird building, just last week to check fire alarms, Bowers added.

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