A fire at a northern Indiana facility has killed nearly 2,000 racing pigeons from around the world that were housed there for a race.
Hoosier Loft owners Jim and Kelly Ward say the fire swept through the loft late Saturday or early Sunday in the LaPorte County town of Wanatah, about 60 miles (96 kilometers) east of Chicago.
The Northwest Indiana Times reports the fire prematurely ended the 2019 Hoosier Classic Million Dollar One Loft Race by killing the birds ahead of Monday's final race from Matthews, Missouri, back to Wanatah.
The Wards are organizers of the race, which is one of competitive pigeon racing's premier events. They said on the race's website that they're "completely devastated" by the fire.
The couple says LaPorte County authorities are investigating the fire.