Blaze consumes Beloit Township barn
One firefighter suffered minor injuries and the barn and its contents are a total loss.
The town of Beloit firefighters were called at 9:05 a.m. to the fire at 1947 S. Paddock Road. The address is west of Beloit near the intersection of South Paddock and West Spring Creek roads.
When they arrived at the scene at 9:14 a.m., the barn, which was full of hay, was fully involved, said Lt. Glen Hennig of the Town of Beloit Fire Department.
A mutual aid call was sent out to agencies ranging from Janesville and Evansville to the north, Cherry Valley and Rockton, Ill., to the south; west to Brodhead and east to Turtle Township and Clinton.
"It was a fairly good-sized barn, and it contained a lot of hay," Hennig said. "They had to pull that stuff apart."
In order to safely put out a hay fire, the hay has to be pulled out and extinguished layer by layer.
"We had an end loader from the town of Beloit helping us, but then the ground got too soft," Hennig said. "After that, it was all manual labor."
Firefighters used hay hooks, which look like bent pitchforks, to pull hay out. They were able to pull out a few pieces of old farm equipment, as well.
The barn was about 100 yards from the road and was about 75 yards from a house.
While firefighters and engines from Juda and South Beloit stood by in the town of Beloit's headquarters, the rest of the agencies battled the fire with extra tankers and staff.
Philip Bellin owns the barn and some of the adjoining land. The barn was valued at $60,000. Brian Damm owned the hay stored in the barn. It was valued at $18,000.
Firefighters were on the scene until 6 p.m.
"We're not exactly sure how it started," Hennig said. "The cause is still under investigation."
A Clinton firefighter was taken to Beloit Memorial Hospital for heat exhaustion. His name and condition were not available at press time.