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Blaze destroys pole shed, vehicles in Somerset Township

What started as a vehicle fire Thursday afternoon quickly grew and destroyed a pole barn in Somerset Township.

Travis Belisle, Somerset Fire/Rescue chief, said the call came in around 4:40 p.m. on Thursday and when firefighters arrived on scene at 533 170TH Ave., owned by Mike Kappers, the pole shed was completely engulfed in flames.

"It was a complete loss," he said.

Kappers' long driveway, along with the tight working area near the shed, made it difficult for firefighters to get a truck near the fire, Belisle said.

"We fought the shed in a defensive mode and protected the home from extension as well as kept a 500 pound propane tank as cool as possible to avoid it rupturing," he said. "The tank had recently been filled with propane and was right next to the shed and due to the high heat eventually did release gas in to the air that burned immediately and very intensely."

Belisle said a family member was working on a vehicle inside the shed when it caught fire and spread throughout the shed.

Along with the shed, several personal items, including various vehicles, lawn movers, etc., were lost in the blaze. No one was injured.

Belisle said firefighters were on scene until about 9 p.m.

Also responding to the scene was St. Joseph Fire Dept., Lakeview EMS and the St. Croix County Sheriff's Office. Hudson firefighters also assisted by moving an engine and tanker to the St. Joe station to protect the township while its crews were out.

Jackie Grumish
Jackie Grumish has been a reporter with the New Richmond News since 2008. She holds degrees in journalism and fine art from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. Before coming to New Richmond, Jackie worked as the city government reporter at a daily newspaper in Aberdeen, S.D. 
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