Fire destroys town of Whitewater barn

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Andrea Anderson
October 26, 2015

TOWN OF WHITEWATER—A Sunday afternoon fire destroyed a 2,400-square-foot barn filled with electronics and landscaping equipment, Whitewater Fire Chief Don Gregoire said.

Firefighters were on the scene about 4 p.m. Sunday after being dispatched for a possible structure fire at N8990 County T in the town of Whitewater, Gregoire said.

When firefighters arrived, the barn was engulfed in flames, he said. Dark smoke could be seen for miles.

“The whole thing went up in flames at once,” property owner Brian Madl said.

The fire began inside the barn. The cause is still under investigation, but a possible malfunction with a lawnmower might be to blame, the chief said.

Madl had mowed just before the fire broke out, and the blaze started where the mower was kept, Gregoire said.

The fire was ruled accidental.

No one was injured, and a nearby house Madl rents out was not damaged, Gregoire said.

The barn was worth about $100,000, and its contents were valued at about $100,000. Madl stored Internet cables, towers and other electronics inside the barn for his Internet provider business, Whitewater Wideband. Landscaping materials and equipment also were inside, Gregoire said.

A truck outside the barn was damaged, Gregoire said.

Firefighters put out the blaze in about 20 minutes and left about 3.5 hours later, Gregoire said.

Lauderdale-La Grange, Fort Atkinson, Palmyra and town of Beloit fire departments and the Racine Fire Bells also responded.

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