UPDATED: Fire destroys farm granary, equipment
River Falls Fire Chief Scott Nelson and a press release from the Pierce County Sheriff's Department confirm that pole-shed-style farm building caught fire about 4:40 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at N8660 770th St., in the town of River Falls, about five miles east of the city and just south of Hwy. 29.
The release says farm owner Allan Kelly sustained minor burns, which were treated at the scene by EMTs from the River Falls Ambulance Service. It also says the cause of the fire is under investigation, but no foul play is suspected.
Nelson said 35 firefighters helped battle the blaze, which motorists and residents saw from afar. The chief said fire teams contained the fire within about an hour and were on scene for a total of about four hours.
"Our firefighting efforts were hampered by strong winds," Nelson said.
The flame fighters contained the fire by soaking the area surrounding the shed and by shooting a steady stream of water toward the nearby farmhouse, which remained undamaged.
Nelson said several calves inside the building were successfully evacuated. He said the shed appeared to be a total loss and said the fire did significant damage to a nearby skid loader and other small farm equipment plus ignited several hay bales.
He said multiple fire departments assisted in the effort by helping on scene, filling and bringing tanker trucks full of water and standing by at the RFFD in case more fire calls came in. Those responding included fire departments from River Falls, Ellsworth, Hudson, Spring Valley and United Fire & Rescue of Baldwin-Hammond-Woodville.
River Falls Police and Ambulance plus the Pierce County Sheriff's Department also responded to the emergency.