Wednesday evening blaze claims rural Waterville dairy barn ...

Waterville and Waukon fire departments battled a barn fire at 1213 Chimney Rock Road, the Kermit and Ann Klees farm in rural Waterville, Wednesday evening, October 4. The Kleeses say the fire started within a half hour time frame after they completed the evening's milking, as they were both already in the house. They say the fire started on the east side of the barn, and even though the cause of the fire is still under investigation, they suspect it may be electrical in nature because the breaker box housing the barn's electrical network is also located on the east side. Kermit said he did notice the lights in the barn flicker and that the vacuum pump had sounded "a little off," but attributed that to the older equipment used in the facility. No animals were hurt or lost in the blaze, as milking had been completed, but the upper level of the barn was full of hay and two complete tractors and another one used for parts were also destroyed, along with various other equipment. A nearby occupied chicken coop was consistently hosed down to prevent it from catching fire, but siding on the home nearest the blaze did melt a bit. Standard photo by Joe Moses.

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