Having farmers on local fire departments may have saved a barn from being destroyed and dozens of cows from perishing Wednesday night in Nasewaupee. Crews responded to the fire at Meier Farms at approximately 5:30 p.m. when hot, smoldering hay was discovered. Southern Door Fire Chief Rich Olson says the hay was likely not completely dry after being cut, harvested, and stored in recent days before the conditions allowed for spontaneous combustion. Firefighters worked quickly to remove the smoldering hay from the barn before more damage was done, while others helped escort more than 50 cows out to safety. With about a dozen farmers on the fire department roster and many more responding, Olson says the success of fighting the fire went beyond their regular training.
As a result, the barn, equipment, and animals were all saved, and there were no injuries. Fire departments from Brussels-Union-Gardner, Sturgeon Bay, Egg Harbor, Baileys Harbor, and Algoma all responded to the blaze with personnel rotations taking place so firefighters could stay adequately hydrated during the incident.