Pete Rothfork, of Grey Eagle, said he was “definitely doing better today than yesterday” over the phone Friday, Nov. 14. The day before, he woke up to the news of one of his turkey barns burning.
The St. Joseph volunteer fire department received word of the blaze around 6:15 a.m. Thursday morning, Fire Chief Jeff Taufen told the Newsleader. About 20 firefighters responded from the St. Joseph department. The barn was fully engulfed upon their arrival, and additional firefighters from St. Stephen, Sartell and Waite Park were called to the scene. Eventually, about 30-35 firefighters were on the scene. The whole operation only took about 3.5 hours, but at the end, the barn had burned nearly to the ground.
Luckily for Rothfork, that particular brooding barn was empty Thursday. On Friday though, the barn was supposed to receive about 8,000 chicks, or poults. Rothfork luckily had room for those poults at another barn in St. Joseph and New Munich that could make up for the space. And those chicks will be back in St. Joseph soon enough. Rothfork says at 4 weeks of age, they’ll move into the big barn, which was on the same property as the one that burned down.
As of press time on Wednesday, the cause of the fire was undetermined. The barn was worth approximately $150,000.
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