PUCKETT, Miss. – An early morning fire killed about 24,000 chickens at a poultry farm near Puckett, Miss., according to local news reports.

The fire started around 3:45 am. Industrial fans that provide fresh air for the chickens automatically turned on, fanning and feeding the flames, according to Rankin County Emergency Management. The fire spread from one poultry house to a second house.

Some of the chickens escaped, but between 22,000 and 24,000 birds died. The fire is under investigation. The owner of the farm grows chickens for Koch Foods.