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200 chicks dead, 500 eggs a loss from smoked out building in Wagner

WAGNER, S.D. — About 200 baby pheasants and other birds were killed Monday and about 500 eggs were lost when a building sustained heavy smoke damage in Wagner.

A heat lamp is believed to be the cause of the smoldering structure, owned by Steve Krcil, in which he raised upland birds like partridge, quail and different species of pheasants. He said Tuesday he's been raising birds for three years.

"This started out as a hobby, so I hadn't really looked into insurance yet," he said Tuesday. "Last year, I didn't have half as much as I did before this."

Everything in the building was a loss, including three incubators and crates. There were no adult birds were killed.

Nine Wagner firefighters were on scene for about 20 minutes, according to Fire Chief Dale Petrik. The fire was reported to officials at about noon, and no one was injured. Krcil lives one mile west of Wagner on South Dakota Highway 50.

Krcil, a lifelong Wagner resident, said his daughter initially saw smoke coming out of a window.

"The fire department did a great job," Krcil said. "The structure never started on fire."

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