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Sparta Firefighters extinguish multiple flames in dangerously cold temperatures

Kaitlyn Riley

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Photo Credit: Sparta Fire Department

A machine shed and its contents were lost in a fire that happened around 9:37 a.m. Sunday along County Hwy. A.

The Sparta Fire Department was called to 15545 County Hwy. A. Fire Chief Mike Arnold said the building was fully engulfed and live wires were down.

The shed that measured 36’x96′ was a total loss along with tools, a pickup, a gator, and many pieces of equipment. Arnold said the firefighters worked in temperatures 20 degrees below zero, which caused the fire ground to become very dangerous.

Currently, Arnold believes the fire started at the north end of the shed because that area housed a wood stove.

While on that scene, a second fire call came in at 7769 Garnett Ave. around 10:46 a.m. A skid steer was on fire in a shed. The owners pulled the skid steer out of the building, and crews extinguished that flame. There was minor smoke damage to the shed.

Chief Arnold said it is not uncommon to have fires back-to-back, and that is why it was important to have units ready to respond to a second call.

Sparta Ambulance Service, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Fort McCoy Fire Department, and Oakdale Electric assisted with the fire on County A. Sparta Ambulance Service and the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office helped with the fire on Garnett Ave.

Kaitlyn Riley’s passion for communications started on her family’s dairy farm in Gays Mills, Wis. Wanting to share agriculture’s story, she studied strategic communications and broadcast journalism at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In college, she held officer positions with the Association of Women in Agriculture and Badger Dairy Club while volunteering as a news reporter for the college radio station. She also founded the university’s first agricultural radio talk show, AgChat. In her professional career, Kaitlyn has worked in radio, print and television news doing everything from covering local events to interviewing presidential candidates, and putting back on her barn boots to chat with farmers in the field. Today, Kaitlyn can be seen covering local stories that matter to you in the La Crosse area.

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