Town of Scott barn destroyed by fire on Thanksgiving Day


The Lincoln County Dispatch Center received a 911 call at 4:45 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day. “Shortly before 5:00 a.m. on Nov. 24, 2022, the Merrill Fire Department (MFD) was notified by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Communication Center of a structure fire at W5935 Church Ave. in the Town of Scott,” said MFD Battalion Chief John Kraegenbrink. “Initial dispatch information was for a growing fire in the barn and that the reporting party was trying to remove his cattle from the barn.”
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies were en route to the scene.
“The initial response from the Merrill Fire Department included Merrill Engine 61, Tender 65, and Medic 62,” Kraegenbrink said. “Additional resources were requested from Tomahawk EMS, Wisconsin Public Service, Pine River Fire Department, Corning Fire Department, Russell Fire Department, and City of Wausau Fire Department, along with a General Alarm for off-duty Merrill Firefighters.”
“While enroute, an orange glow was noted on the horizon in the area of the reported structure fire. Additionally, a Lincoln County Sheriff Deputy arrived on scene and reported that the fire was beginning to spread to the roof,” he said. “Additional resources were requested from Texas Fire Department, Hamburg Fire Department, Hewitt Fire Department, and Town of Wausau Fire Department.”
“Tomahawk Ambulance supported response efforts by providing standby coverage in Irma,” a report from the LCSO said.
“Due to structural collapse, an excavator was requested to pull the building apart to access hidden hotspots,” Kraegenbrink said.
“Additionally, the Lincoln County Highway Department was contacted to salt all the roads being used for water transport operations,” he added. “The Salvation Army was requested for on-scene personnel and provided hydration and nourishment to help support the hours of strenuous work being performed.”
“Incident Command declared the fire under control at approximately 12:45 p.m.,” Kraegenbrink said. “All mutual aid companies were released from the scene and MFD units were back in service around 2:52 p.m.”
“An estimated 211,750 gallons of water and 45 gallons of Class A foam were used to extinguish the fire.”
A report from the LCSO said the barn “has been reported as a total loss” and “the origin of the fire is suspected to be related to a Skid-Steer, which had been parked inside the barn.”
“During firefighting operations, the property owner and several neighboring farms coordinated the successful removal of the cattle herd from the property,” Kraegenbrink said.
However, “While no [human] injuries were reported, 10 calves were reported to have perished in the blaze,” the LCSO report said.

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