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Grain dryer fire at Double S Dairy causes $210,000 in losses

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Grain dryer fire at town of Alto dairy caused $210,000 in losses at the Double D dairy farm.

TOWN OF ALTO – A challenging fall harvest took another twisting turn for a town of Alto farm family, following a fire in a grain dryer on Nov. 15.

According to the Fond du Lac County Sheriff's Office, an employee at Double S Dairy, N3447 Marshview Rd., spotted the fire around 4:40 a.m. and called 911.

Fire departments from Alto, Waupun, Brandon/Fairwater, Markeson, Fox Lake, Ripon, Lamartine and Rosendale responded to the scene along with Lifestar Ambulance and the RIT Team 3. No one was injured during the incident.

Owners Dan and Steve Smits told investigators that a wireless sensor in the grain dryer had indicated an overheat around 11:30 p.m. on Nov. 14.

Sgt. Ryan Zitlow of the Fond du Lac Sheriff’s Office says the fire is believed to have started around 4 a.m. inside the grain dryer. About 1,500 bushels of corn worth approximately $60,000 was inside the dryer at the time of the fire. The corn along with the grain dryer – valued at $150,000 – are both deemed a complete loss.

Zitlow says the fire does not appear to be suspicious. The Smits brothers partnered in 1993 to form Double S Dairy.