After truck breaks down, Addison firefighters hose down chickens to keep them cool in the heat

"I would rather deal with a cat stuck in a tree than 14,000 birds over heating on the side of the road, said Addison Battalion Chief Chris Mansfield.

It was a fowl day for the Addison Fire Department.

A truck carrying 14,000 chickens broke down in the heat. The firefighters’ quick thinking saved many of the birds.


Hosing down chickens is not really in the job description, but that is exactly what happened on Tuesday – and because of it, thousands of little lives were spared.

"Things happen in Chicago. Out here in Addison, we save chickens," Mansfield said.

The chickens became very hot as the weather has been warm as of late.

"They were trying to use a garden hose to keep them cool, that's all they had. So he did all the right things, he just didn't have the right tools," Mansfield said.

After the truck broke down along I-90, the 14,000 chickens crossed the road to a nearby mechanics shop.

"So we dispatched one of our engine companies out and one of our ambulances to deploy hand lines on both sides of the truck and try to cool off the birds, to off load them, keep them in the shade and then wait for the other truck to come and pick them up," Mansfield said.

Last month, Addison firefighters rescued a family of ducklings from a storm drain.

Last week, they contained a massive fire at an auto shop.

It has been a busy year.

"They say that things happen in three’s. Hopefully this is over, that would be nice for all this craziness," Mansfield said.

Sadly, the Addison Fire Department estimates up to 1,000 chickens did not make it. They are egg hens, so the alternative for those that did make it is not horrible.