Wisconsin Farm Fire Causes 1 Million Dollars in Damage

Article and image from fdlreporter.com 

TOWN OF ROSENDALE - Fire caused more than $1 million in damages at the state's largest dairy Tuesday, but a company spokesman says the dairy operation isn't missing a beat.

The fire at Rosendale Dairy, N8997 County Trunk M, started when a tractor in a commodity shed caught fire around 2:30 p.m.

The fire spread to an estimated 13,000 bales of straw, feed and equipment stored in theWisconsin farm fire building, according to a Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office report.

Rosendale Fire Department and the Sheriff's Office responded to the town of Rosendale dairy for a report of a structure fire.

It took firefighters more than four hours to extinguish the fire, said Bill Harke, spokesman for Milk Source, owner of Rosendale Dairy.

At least seven fire departments helped battle the blaze. No firefighters were injured while fighting the fire, but two dairy employees were treated for minor smoke inhalation.

Damage estimates include $500,000 in feed and the commodity shed, which has an estimated value between $500,000 and $1 million, Harke said.

Rosendale Dairy has 8,400 cows and produces 78,000 gallons of milk daily. Harke said the fire isn't expected to interfere with daily workload.

"We had a fire, but the cows didn't miss a beat," Harke said. "We have great partners that helped us feed the cows yesterday and today. None of the cows were injured."

"We obviously don't like to lose the building, but we do have a few other dairies in the area so we have been able to bring some materials to this dairy," Harke said. "It's been as close to seamless as can be. The support has been overwhelming."

Harke said the dairy has constructed a temporary outdoor feed bunker.

The fire was contained by 7 p.m., but Harke said firefighters were at the dairy through Wednesday morning to monitor the area.

"We plan on rebuilding as soon as possible," Harke said. "The commodities shed will be right back to where it was."

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