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home : top stories : top stories February 26, 2015


WITC

8/20/2014 12:24:00 PM
Fires destroy Barron area barn, business, dairy cows
Fire destroyed a kiln at Bell Timber in Barron.
Fire destroyed a kiln at Bell Timber in Barron.
Ryan Urban
Chronotype staff

Sixty-two dairy cows perished in a fire that destroyed a barn owned by a Town of Clinton couple with four children early Monday, Aug. 18. About 20 minutes later and 10 miles away, a blaze destroyed a kiln full of power poles at Bell Timber in Barron.
Two cows were able to break free and exit the barn owned by David and Tricia Yoder at 1222 9 1/2 St. A man driving to work on Hwy. F at about 4:39 a.m. spotted the fire and alerted a Barron County sheriff's dispatcher. "He beat on the door of our house, and woke us up," said Tricia. She said David was able to move items close to the barn with a skid steer.
"There was no going in the barn, it was too late," Tricia said. She said a newer attached feed room and milk house were saved.
The Almena Fire Department was paged at 4:45 a.m. and arrived at 5:01 a.m., said fire chief Vince Wohlk. "As we pulled into the driveway, we saw the barn was fully involved and had already collapsed in on itself," he said. The fire was under control in about an hour. Most of the firefighters left the scene at about 10:50 a.m., with some remaining to hose down hot spots. The cause of the fire has not been determined, Wohlk said.
David and Tricia took over the dairy farm from David's parents in 2006, Tricia said.
The Barron Maple Grove Fire Department was assisting the Almena Fire Department at the barn fire when they were called to respond to a fire in a kiln at Bell Timber at 4 Berger Ave. in Barron at about 6 a.m.
They arrived on scene about 5 minutes later to see flames coming through the roof of the kiln, said fire chief Mike Romsos. He said the fire was under control in about an hour.
Bell Timber yard coordinator Chris Lentsh said the older kiln had about 600 poles inside. It was one of two kilns. He said 15 employees who were on site in the yard were evacuated from the area during the fire. The company took a loss on Monday but would be back 100% by Tuesday, said Lentsh.
Romsos said the cause of the fire has not been determined. The Rice Lake, Cameron and Chetek fire departments assisted at the fire, he said.
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