I am writing this at 2:30am, as I still have adrenaline coursing through my body and I can't sleep.
I woke up for apparently no reason. But once I woke up, I smelled a bit of smoke. It is a very cold night, -25c, so it is not unusual to smell smoke from all the wood fires burning in town. But this was a bit different. With dread in my stomach, I looked outside and saw smoke coming from the chicken coop. Because it had been so cold tonight, I had put the heat lamp inside the coop with chickens, because Betty had been moulting.
I threw on my dressing gown, pulled on some boots and mitts and ran outside to face the worst. The heat lamp had fallen -probably knocked down by the chickens fighting each other or something- and was smouldering in the sawdust. Both chickens are dead from smoke inhalation. I threw snow on the smouldering spot and unplugged everything, but other than that, there is nothing more to do until morning. I feel sick inside. I wish I had left the heat lamp out. I wish I had left their door open. I guess they could have frozen then, I don't know. But I feel so guilty and sad.