Volunteer firefighters, responding from regular jobs as far away as Waseca and Mankato, were able to save a barn by dousing a blaze in another building on a farm near Pemberton Tuesday.
Firefighters were called to Ron Beckman’s farm at about 11:30 a.m. after his wife reported a barn was on fire and flames were coming out the roof. The barn that was burning had been partially damaged by a tornado about a decade or so ago, Beckman said.
“I wasn’t home. I was at work in Waseca,” he said. “My wife called and said we had a barn on fire. I made it here before the fire department.”
Beckman and his family used their own hoses to spray the neighboring barn with water so it wouldn’t catch fire. That barn houses horses, goats, chickens and equipment, he said. The family also was able to get the animals out of the barn so they would be safe if the fire spread.
Pemberton Fire Chief Charlie Trier said the Beckmans had been burning trash when hot embers from that fire spread to the older barn.
“There were probably 30 feet of flames coming out of the barn when we got here,” Trier said. “Everybody did a good job. Having an open structure makes firefighting easy.”
There was some heat damage to shingles on the newer barn.
The fire was put out quickly with the biggest challenge being getting water to the site. The farm is about a mile down a narrow gravel road that intersects with Highway 83 northwest of Pemberton. Firefighters from Pemberton and St. Clair departments responded.
Trier also said rural residents should be thankful there are employers willing to let their workers leave to fight fires.
“I like to give them credit for letting our guys go,” he said.