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Fire ravages barn, 6 calves are killed

January 3, 2019

TOWN OF PORTLAND -- A fire ravaged a barn killing six calves and causing $100,000 in damages to a barn in the town of Portland late Tuesday night.

Waterloo Fire Chief Vern Butzine told the Daily Times his department received the fire call at 10:27 p.m. of a calf barn on the Crave Brothers Farm and Farmstead Cheese, W11550 Torpy Road.

“Unfortunately, this is not the way we want to start the new year,” Butzine said. “I feel bad every time there is a fire and there is devastation like this. It’s not a good thing to have happen.”

Butzine said the blaze began on the floor level and went through the roof where it vented the south side of the structure. He said the calf barn was built this past summer. Butzine said the barn is 40 feet by 150 feet.

“We did do a quick knockdown of the fire, but we were constantly wetting down areas to prevent a possible extension of the fire,” the chief said adding his department used 5,000 gallons of water on the blaze.

He said the cold weather caused icing for the firefighters, but praised his crew for attacking the fire quickly and extinguishing it in a safe and timely manner.

Butzine said the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

He said 24 of his firefighters remained on the scene for an hour and a half. Waterloo EMS also responded to the blaze.

No one was injured in the fire.

He said mutual aid was not called.

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