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A broken down semi full of chickens dying from heat helped by kindhearted mechanic & firefighters

When a truck breakdown combined with a hot day to put the lives of thousands of chickens at risk, firefighters stepped in to save the lives of many of the distressed birds.

It all started on Tuesday morning when a semi hauling 14,000 chickens broke down on I-90 near Elgin, Illinois.

The truck lost a wheel and became disabled as temperatures started to rise, endangering the tightly packed chickens in the trailer.

A mechanic with Super Truck Service was able to respond and helped the truck limp back to the shop by chaining up an axle.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, mechanic Andrew Loucks was worried about the fate of the overheating chickens and used a garden hose to spray them down in the trailer.

Around 1 p.m., a crew with the Addison Fire Protection District spotted Loucks spraying down the truckload of stranded birds and stepped in to provide assistance.

Crews sprayed hundreds of gallons of water on the chickens.

Rescuers were eventually was able to offload the chickens into shade at the shop and used fans to try to keep the birds cool.

In spite of these efforts, between 500 and 1000 of the birds died before they were loaded onto another truck to finish their journey.

The birds are egg-laying hens that were being transported between two farms, firefighters say.