Bee barn built two years ago burns down - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Bee barn built two years ago burns down


Eau Claire County (WQOW) - A pile of ashes now lies where abarn built for bees had stood.

Dick Nesja, from Pleasant Valley, said he was home when hewitnessed his neighbor's barn burn up yesterday afternoon. Township fire said the fire was started by a smoke machine used to collect honey. The barn wasdestroyed, and it's likely many of the bees died. Nesja said the owners werebeginning a bee business and built the barn two years ago.

"It's a shame and it's reallybad for, to see all the time that they been putting in this year, just to tearit down and reconstruct. Nobody lost their lives, nobody got hurt. That's themain thing that helps a lot," Nesja said.

Nesja said the owners of the barnlive in Eau Claireand had hoped to build a new home on the property. Township fire estimates theloss at $200,000.

Eau Claire County (WQOW)- Mud made it difficult for area firefighters Sunday as they tried to save a barn full of bees.

Crews from Township Fire were called to a barn south of Eau Claire on Nesja Road around 2:00 Sunday afternoon. Fire officials say a worker at the farm had been tending to the bees kept inside,  using a smoke machine to collect honey. The machine sparked and the barn caught fire.

The barn was quite a distance from the road and soft, wet ground forced firefighters to leave their bigger trucks behind. They attacked the flames with brush trucks, which are smaller. Several other fire departments including Eleva and Mondovi were called in to assist.

The barn was destroyed and it's likely many of the bees died. Township Fire says the loss is estimated at $200,000.


News Release from Township Fire Township Fire department responded to a report of a barn fully involved with fire to above address. First units on scene advised barn was fully involved and already suffered structural collapse. Worker at the farm, Ellen Sorenson  1530 Badger Ave. Eau Claire reported to firefighters that while attempting to light and use a bee pot smoker, embers ignited straw chaff and fire spread rapidly inside the barn. Sorenson & her fiance,  Andrew Kaiser were finally able to make it to their vehicle parked on Nesja Road and go to a neighbors to call the fire in.  Due to the remoteness of the barn off the town road and muddy conditions, firefighters had to use brush trucks and specially equipped atvs to extinguish the fire which took several hours. a few acres of leaves and underbrush also burned in the woods north of the barn but was brought under control quickly by the brush and atv units.  Township was assited by Fire departments from Eleva, Mondovi and Rock Creek. No injuries to fire personnel and only minor hand burn to Sorenson was reported to fire officials later in the day.

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