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Donations pour in after fire damages Hatch a Bird Farm

The community is rallying around a family-run farm in Powell River.

Hatch a Bird Farm experienced a serious fire in many of their out-buildings over the weekend. 

The fire broke out early Saturday morning around 1:00am in the 6600 block of McMahon Avenue.

A 200ft by 50ft building was completely engulfed in flames when crews arrived.

Deputy fire chief Rocky Swanson said the fire was caused by a faulty machine stored in the building.

No one was injured in the fire but some chickens were killed, but the damage was significant.

A storefront, tool shop, food storage shed, seed starter room, and one of the chicken coops were all completely destroyed, and a few of the greenhouses were severely impacted. 

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family rebuild. 

As of this afternoon, the page has generated $26,620 in donations and is closing in on its $30,000 goal.

“Peter and Helena (Bird) lost a majority of their farm tools, as well as freezers full of meat sold to locals, soil and seeds for this season’s crop production, and the majority of their laying hens,” it says on the page.

“At the beginning of a new year, with crop production about to ramp up for spring, and many new animals on the way, this fire has had a devastating impact on Peter and Helena’s ability to operate. They’ve been a part of this community for 30 years, supplying local grocery stores and neighbourhoods up and down the coast, and are hoping to thrive for many years to come.”

“Peter and Helena recently decided to cancel their farm insurance when the premiums doubled making it unaffordable for a small farm. So we are reaching out to our community and abroad, asking for support to help them start over.”

The immediate need is to build infrastructure to protect a new cooling storage space for both meat and produce, as well as a new coop for new chickens who are set to arrive at the end of February.

If you have any old freezers or any farm tools that you’re not using, you’re urged to call Hatch a Bird Farm at 604-483-9546.

They are also looking for a two-row potato planter.

You can find the GoFundMe page here.

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