Fire crews responded to JS West Milling Company on Dwight Road in Merced County for a commercial structure fire Sunday evening.

When fire personnel arrived, they saw heavy smoke and fire engulfing the 50,000-square-foot hen-laying facility, according to Battalion Chief Brian White.

Unfortunately, 170,000 egg-laying hens were killed when the fire rapidly developed inside the building.

The fire, which started at 7:40 p.m., was contained sometime after midnight.

Two firefighters sustained fatigue but fully recovered and had no injuries.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

*From Merced County Fire-Since the Fourth of July, the Merced County Fire Department has been extremely busy servicing calls throughout Merced County, as well as supporting CalFire and the State responding up and down the State of California.

*People need to take on their own responsibility for their own fire protection, such as managing the grass on their property and refraining from using illegal fireworks.