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Dozens of firefighters battle barn blaze

Responders fight blaze, cold temps

Multiple fire departments responded to a barn fire on Highway 83 late Sunday, Jan. 20.

Multiple fire departments responded to a barn fire on Highway 83 late Sunday, Jan. 20. Photo By Submitted photo by Josh Gonda

Jan. 22, 2013

Town of Mukwonago - A barn fire on Sunday, Jan. 20, had firefighters fighting frigid cold temperatures along with the blaze.

According to Deputy Chief Andy Wegner of the Mukwonago Fire Department, the department was clearing the scene of a smoke investigation that turned out to be nothing at a residence on Pleasant Street. The department received a call at about 4:30 p.m. for a barn fire at the King Ranch on Highway 83 just south of I-43.

A passer-by noticed smoke coming from the barn and called the residents, who then reported the fire.

Knowing they were short on personnel, Wegner said they requested help from other departments. Roughly 13 departments sent at least one truck to the scene to assist in establishing a water supply and fighting the blaze. About 60 firefighters turned out to battle the fire. Responding departments included Big Bend, Eagle, East Troy, Troy Center, City of Waukesha, Town of Waukesha, North Prairie, Lake Country, Tichigan, Tess Corners, Vernon and Wales-Genesee. Dousman provided on-call assisted at the station.

There were no injuries involved in the fire, only major damage to the main barn that was primarily being used for storage. The basement of the barn, which was being used as a hobby car shop, had minor smoke damage to the vehicles it contained. An estimated amount of damage was not yet available at press time.

The fire is thought to have originated with a wood-burning stove used to heat the car shop. The stove had a chimney that ran through the barn wall that issuspected to have failed, resulting in the blaze.

Wegner said that there were several challenges in fighting the fire on such a cold night. Between the departments, about 80,000 gallons of water were needed to fight the fire. Because of the weather, the water on the scene quickly turned to ice, and the Village of Mukwonago and Waukesha County had to send in trucks to salt so the scene could remain safe for emergency responders.

During the operation, a power line also dropped, and We Energies was called to respond and secure the scene.

The North Prairie Auxiliary provided food and drink on scene.

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A Holiday Bazaar and Craft Fair will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday, Nov. 2, at St. Jerome Parish School, 1001 S. Silver Lake St. The bazaar will feature handcrafted items, a raffle and Sweet Shop treats. A luncheon, which includes a beverage and dessert, will be $7 and served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1. Admission is free.
The Four Guyz in Dinner Jackets Doo-Wop Quartet will entertain from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, at St. Olaf’s Church, Highway O and Roosevelt Road in the town of Ashippun. Cost is $20 adults in advance, $25 at the door if seats are available. Call (414) 651-3915 for tickets.
A Supreme Breakfast will be held from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at St. Bruno Church, 266 W. Ottawa Ave., Dousman. Breakfast includes pancakes, French toast, sausage, eggs, hash browns, orange juice and coffee.Proceeds to benefit charities in the Dousman area. Hosted by the Dousman Knights of Columbus Council 6436 with the Dousman Masonic Lodge 315. Cost is $7 adults, $3 children under 10.
The Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market will open for the season and celebrate five years starting at 9:15 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at Oconomowoc Landscape Supply and Garden Center in Oconomowoc. From 9:15 to 9:30 a.m. will be a ribbon cutting; 10:15 to 10:30 a.m. will be birthday cake cutting and presentation by Alice in Dairyland. The market will be open 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sundays through March 2015, except Nov. 30 and Dec. 28. For more information, visit www.oconomowoc.org.

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