Barn Fire

By: Bill Martens
By: Bill Martens

Dozens of animals are safe Wednesday night after one man's brave actions kept them from perishing in a fire.

Firefighters from McMillan, Stratford, Spencer and Hewitt battled the blaze, which started around 11. While the barn is a total loss, there is some good news in all this. All 85 cows that were in the barn made it out alive with the help of this man.

"Well, that's my job," says Richard Escher. "I love milking cows and working on farms. I would've done it for anybody else."

He and the owner of the farm, Dennis Stroetz, were inside the barn when it went up. Dennis called 9-1-1 and Richard got the cows out, but Richard does not consider himself a hero, just a man who did what had to be done.

By the time firefighters arrived, the barn was fully engulfed, but not all was lost.

"We saved the out buildings, and the cattle are ok and moved to a different barn for milking tonight, and nobody got hurt, and that's the main thing we look for, is safety," says McMillan Fire Chief Dave Swenson.

A couple of things made this fire a little more difficult to put out. High winds fed the fire and there was a low water supply, but they were able to put the fire out.


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