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Livestock show animals killed in Reedsburg barn fire

February 10, 2019

A barn on a family farm located just outside of Reedsburg is considered a total loss after a fire destroyed the structure early Sunday morning, fire officials say.

Several of the show livestock, including chickens, cattle and boer goats on the Darren and Shannon Scherbert beef farm were killed in the fire. About 100 bales of hay inside the structure also burned.

Reedsburg Fire Chief Craig Douglas said when firefighters arrived at E7676 Highway H in the town of Dellona at 2 a.m. Feb. 10, the wooden barn was fully engulfed in flames. Douglas said when he arrived, the roof of the 40-foot be 80-foot structure had “pretty much caved in.”

“It was completely engulfed at that time,” Douglas said.

At that point, Douglas said fire crews were in a “defensive mode”, protecting nearby vehicles, a shed and any nearby items. Douglas said no injuries were reported.

“Our primary concern were the exposures and cooling that stuff down,” Douglas said. “Because there was nothing we could really do with the barn at that point, it was just too far gone.”

Reedsburg fire crews remained at the scene throughout the morning of Feb. 10 to keep an eye on the remaining flames.

“We’ve learned from experience that you can put as much water as you can provide onto those hay bales and you won’t put them out they are just packed so tight you can’t put them out,” Douglas said.

The livestock in the barn mainly were animals for their children to show. Shannon Scherbert said chickens, four show cattle and seven boer goats were lost due to the fire. She estimated the barn was constructed in the late 1860s, about the same time as the house located on the same property nearby.

A nearby vehicle also sustained damage, according to the release from the Sauk County Sheriff’s Office. Darren Scherbert said three tractors and one pickup truck were damaged. He said the heat from the fire melted the lights off of the car and the siding on the nearby shed.

Sauk County Sheriff’s Office officials helped direct traffic at the scene. Assistance was requested from the Lake Delton and Kilbourn Fire departments. Alliant Energy was also on scene to address a nearby power pole that was on fire, Douglas said.

Highway H was closed to traffic for about 2 hours while the fire departments battled the blaze. Douglas said fire crews had the fire under control by 4 a.m., and the road reopened at about that time.

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