8/14/17 – Fire completely destroyed a barn in the Town of Herman Saturday night. The call came in around 7:30pm to the Norbert Feucht farm at the corner of State Highway 33 and Dakota Road. Iron Ridge Assistant Fire Chief Jason Keller says the fire was fully involved when crews arrived on scene, the roof had already collapsed and the walls were leaning. The barn was filled with various equipment and 200 bales of hay. Keller says the collapse of the steel structure hindered firefighting efforts as the metal roof that fell on top of the hay bales became red hot, quickly turning the scene into an oven. They were able to get two excavators on scene within about 90 minutes to help move burning debris but it took about three hours to get the flames under control. Meanwhile, a secondary concern was a nearby cattle barn to the north that required constant ventilation of smoke. Keller says the wind was on their side and it could have been a different story if winds had shifted. There were no injuries to the residents, firefighters or cattle. The fire resulted in closure of the eastbound and westbound lanes of Highway 33 between County AY and County P until midnight. That’s about the time crews were able to move the staging area from the state highway to just off Dakota Road. Firefighters remained on scene until around 1:30am yesterday morning, though they returned again in the afternoon because of a small flare-up. Iron Ridge received mutual assistance from fire departments in Woodland, Neosho, Theresa, Allenton, Hartford, Kekoskee, Mayville and Horicon. It is worth noting that all this took place during the annual Iron Ridge Fireman’s picnic, which is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the department. The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Keller says in spite of the major response on Saturday night, the event was nonetheless a huge success with record attendance. He says that speaks volumes of the dedication and support of not just firefighters but of the whole community. Keller says that support is very much appreciated.