Barn fire near Fort Atkinson kills over 20 cows

CREATED Feb 10, 2013

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TOWN OF OAKLAND - Dozens of dairy cows were killed in a barn fire near Fort Atkinson in Jefferson County Saturday.

At least 15 fire departments were called to battle the fire on Bill Ehrke's farm a little northwest of the city. Ehrke was driving from Chicago when he received a call his barn was on fire.

"By the time I got here last night at eight, it was just about gone," Ehrke says. "Everything."

The dairy farmer says he's been milking for decades and considered the 25 cows who died more than just a way to make a living. He doesn't want to think about the animals who were trapped inside.

"You just have to take care of the heifers and the cows that did survive," Ehrke says.

The cows that survived are being cared for on a neighbor's farm.

Investigators are still looking into what started the fire.