Fire damages building, equipment at Arlington Ag Research Station

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
The Arlington Agricultural Research Station is used by almost all disciplines in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The 2,000 acre complex is composed of 12 crop and livestock units including agronomy, Emmons Blaine Dairy Cattle Research Center, headquarters, plant pathology, soil science, Teaching Center and more .

While no injuries were reported as a result of a fire at the Arlington Agricultural Research Station on June 26, University of Wisconsin officials say a building and its contents sustained major damage in the blaze.

 According to the Columbia County Sheriff's Office, a call came into the dispatch center around 4 p.m. reporting a fire at the facility located at N695 Hopkins Rd., just off Highway 51, north of of Madison.

Firefighters from at least 12 departments responded to the scene to fight the fire that started inside a large three-sided shed containing farm machinery on fire. Witnesses told media on the scene that the smoke could be seen for miles and explosions could be heard from inside the structure. 

The Arlington Agricultural Research Station is used by the University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. The 2,000 acre complex is composed of 12 crop and livestock units. 

Michael Peters, Director of the research center, said no one was inside at the time of the fire.

Peters told members of the media that no employees or animals were inside the building at the time of the fire, and that the fire was contained to one building.

"There are no injuries to report. All humans are safe," Peters said. 

While humans and animals were not impacted, the large shed contained several pieces of farm equipment including tractors, semis, research equipment and more.

"We're in the process of doing a full inventory of those items at this time," he said, adding that the physical damage "was extensive."

The UW-Madison Police Department is investigating the fire.