Brandon — The temperature fluctuated between 0 and -3 degrees Fahrenheit as crews from multiple fire departments battled an engulfed barn just after 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Strong westerly winds blew thick black smoke across State 26, a full mile east of the fire scene at N4637 Amity Road.
"Dispatch, see if we can get a State Patrol officer to sit on 26 to warn drivers of the smoke," a Fond du Lac County Sheriff deputy said over the scanner on his way to the fire.
Waupun Fire Department were the first units to reach the scene, with fire already coming through the barn's roof.
Fire destroyed a barn in Fond du Lac county Thursday afternoon. Doug Raflik/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin
Waupun Fire Chief BJ DeMaa asked dispatch for a MABAS box alarm to call in additional help.
It was a futile attempt, however, as soon after the roof collapsed. It was followed by the south wall which — engulfed in flames — came crashing down.
For Waupun Firefighter Shawn Turnes it was different than fighting any other fire.
"My mom and step dad rent the property," Turnes said. "We were unable to get a horse out. There was also a truck, two snowmobiles and some lawn tractors that were destroyed."
Assisting Waupun at the fire were Brandon, Alto, Oakfield, Town of Fond du Lac and Lamartine fire departments, as well as Lifestar ambulance and the Fond du Lac Sheriff's Department.
A state patrol unit also helped with traffic on State 26 for the smoke.