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Ellsworth-area barn destroyed in early morning fire

Fire destroyed a barn early Friday in rural Ellsworth.

Ellsworth firefighters responded at about 4:30 a.m. to W6656 340th Ave. in the town of Hartland for a report of a barn on fire. Dan Jensen, an assistant Ellsworth fire chief, said a portion of the roof collapsed before firefighters arrived.

He said the structure was mainly used for storage — there were no animals or people inside at the time. A vehicle parked inside the barn was also destroyed in the fire, Jensen said.

No firefighters were injured while battling the blaze.

Nearby fuel barrels were a concern for fire crews, but Jensen said they did not catch fire.

The property owners, listed in Pierce County records as Robert and Kelly Fritz, reported a storm passed through the area shortly before the fire, Jensen said. He said investigators will be looking into the possibility of the storm's role in the fire's cause.

The approximately 60-by 100-foot structure was a total loss, he said. Ellsworth firefighters, who were on scene for about two hours, were assisted by Ellsworth EMS and Pierce County sheriff's deputies.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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