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The original item was published from 6/10/2015 1:18:22 AM to 7/13/2015 12:05:00 AM.

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Fire Department

Posted on: June 10, 2015

[ARCHIVED] WFR fights large dairy barn fire in extreme heat.

WFR respond to a tractor fire in a large dairy barn on Jun 9 at approximately 7 pm. Upon arrival crews found heavy black smoke coming from near the middle of a large dairy barn at South View Dairy - 45321 174 St, Watertown SD. With a very quick attack and desperately need assistance from Wtn Coop Elevator, crews were able to save the approximately 396 cows and the structure. Workers on site were able to help get the cattle out of the portion burning and Watertown Coop Elevator had 5 semi tankers carrying 20,000 gallons total of water within minutes to provide a successful attack. The fire started from a tractor used in the barn to run a very large fan for cooling purposes. Something malfunctioned on the tractor and workers reported an explosion followed by the tractor being fully engulfed in flames. The flames then started the roof and structure on fire. There were 4 cows that was loss to the fire unfortunately. With an estimated loss of approximately 125,000 dollars, it is estimated that over a million dollars of value was saved, Thankfully, none of the workers or fireman were injured. The temps were in the mid 90's which creates an extra dangerous working condition. Crews were on scene just under 2 hrs. We gratefully appreciate the assistance provide in the time of need by Watertown Coop Elevator, Codington County Sheriffs office, and the Codington County Emergency Management. BC McElhany

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