Smoke and flames on a Wisconsin dairy farm resulted in one employee going to a hospital for observation after a barn storing livestock, machinery and hay caught fire.
The Reeseville Fire Department was dispatched to a farm southwest of Reeseville on Feb. 24 at 6:18 pm after a barn fire was reported.
Smoke was visible from the north side of a large dairy barn on the property upon the fire crew’s arrival, according to press release. The fire was primarily located in an addition to the barn where a skid steer was stored.
Assistant Chief Ben Zechzer says “a quick knock down was made by the first in crew and additional crews helped with the extensive overhaul to insure that fire had not spread to the hayloft.”
After two hours, the fire was contained to the addition and also destroyed 30 hay bales stored in the loft.
One male farm employee was taken to a local hospital for observation following the fire. The release did not say what type of injury might have occurred.
Additionally, none of the fire personnel were injured during the fire fight which was made more difficult because the ground was “a sheet of ice.” No cattle were injured during the fire, either.
Reeseville Fire Department was assisted by auto aid from Lowell Fire Department and Clyman Fire Department. Additional aid was provided by departments from Hustisford, Watertown, Waterloo, Columbus, Marshall, and Lifestar EMS. Dodge County Sheriff's Department, Dodge County Emergency Response Team and Dodge County Highway Department also assisted.
The full release can be seen in the following Facebook post by the Reeseville Fire Department:
Farm and Ranch Safety
While it does not sound like there were any life threatening injures for the farm work, this fire serves as an important reminder that safety should be priority when working on farms and ranches.
Each day approximately 100 injuries happen to agricultural workers that result in lost work time, according to data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Unfortunately deaths are not uncommon in agriculture either with 417 people dying in 2016, resulting in a death rate of 21.4 deaths per 100,000 workers. NIOSH indicates the vast majority of these deaths were a result from vehicle rollovers. Farm safety is vital to all farm stakeholders from owners to managers to employees to visitors.
Here are some articles that provide safety tips and resources for farmers and ranchers: