UPDATE: Local dairy farm loses milking parlor to fire

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EAU CLAIRE (WEAU) - A local dairy farm loses its milking parlor and part of its barn after a large fire. Firefighters fought the blaze, just outside of Independence, for several hours.

The Independence Fire Department says cow bedding is what caught fire but the department is still looking into what exactly sparked the bedding.

Neighbors helped take in hundreds of dairy cows that are without a home after the fire destroyed part of the farm.

"It's a real family community here and there was all sorts of help that showed up," says Independence Fire Chief, Dan Kampa.

The Independence Fire Department says the fire started on a farm just north of Independence on Highway 93 and Swede Valley Road. Chief Kampa says while people were trucking out the cows, other departments were rolling in to help battle the flames.

"Especially with the weather and inclement you need a lot of guys and support. We had eight departments, one from Buffalo County and seven from Trempealeau County. It's always a good mutual aid agreement here in Trempealeau County," says Kampa.

Neighbors say the barn was rebuilt about five to seven years ago. Firefighters say high winds made the fire tougher to control.

"It was terrible, in five minutes we lost the whole other side of the barn over there which was the majority of it," says Kampa.

The chief says no people or cows were hurt, but the milking parlor and another barn are a complete loss.

"It's a destruction that's hard on a family farm like this and they need a lot of support," says Kampa.

Firefighters were at the farm until about seven Monday night cleaning up. The chief says the cause of the fire is still under investigation, and there's no damage estimate.

EAU CLAIRE (WEAU) -- Investigators say a spark ignited cow bedding Monday afternoon, and the fire destroyed a milking parlor.

There's no word on what caused the spark inside the barn near Independence. Crews at the scene did not have a damage estimate.

No people or animals were hurt in the fire. Investigators say many of the cows kept in the barn were outside, and the ones that were inside escaped around the time the fire started.

Crews fought the flames for nearly four hours, and told us high winds made the fire difficult to put out. They appeared to be finishing up at the scene by about 6:30 p.m. Monday.


EAU CLAIRE (WEAU) -- Crews were called to the scene of a barn fire in Trempealeau County Monday afternoon.

It happened on a property at the corner of State Highway 93 and Swede Valley Road, north of Independence.

The Trempealeau County Sheriff's Department said its deputies and several fire crews responded.

WEAU reporter Chris Baylor said most crews were leaving by 6 p.m.

Neighbors say a milking parlor burned down. It was about five years old.

Watch for more details on WEAU 13 News at 10, and instant updates here on WEAU.com.

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