A barn and a semi were destroyed by a fire Wednesday night on a farm northwest of Groton.
When firefighters arrived about 11 p.m., the barn and semi were already engulfed in flames, said Dion Bahr, chief of the Groton Fire Department. A second semi was near the building, but firefighters managed to save that one, he said.
Scott Meints, Brown County Emergency Management director, said the buildings were reported on fire about 11 p.m. near of the intersection of 131st Street and 400th Avenue. That's two miles north of U.S. Highway 12 on what's commonly called Granary Road. The fire was about a half mile east of the junction, he said.
The barn, which was on a cattle ranch, had 700 large square and round bales of hay inside it, which made the fire difficult to put out, Bahr said. Once the fire gets inside the tightly wrapped straw, it's hard to penetrate, he said.
Scott Hanlon, of Hanlon Brothers Construction, brought an excavator to the site, which was extremely helpful, Bahr said.
Hanlon used the excavator to remove as much tin from the roof on top of the fire as possible to reduce the heat, Bahr said. Hanlon also used his excavator, which was surrounded by firefighters, to break up the hay bales, allowing firefighters to extinguish the flames easier.
The cause of the fire is undetermined, but there probably won't be an investigation, Bahr said. The farmer had the property insured, Bahr said.
Firefighters did not leave the scene until about 6 a.m. Thursday, Bahr said. Most firefighters didn't get to sleep until 8:30 or 9 a.m. because it took more than two hours to clean the trucks, pack up the hoses and perform other maintenance work.
The Groton Fire Department and Aberdeen rural fire department responded, Bahr said.
There were no reported injuries, he said.