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Extra crews, water needed in Cottage Grove barn fire

Firefighters from five departments used more than 50,000 gallons of water to douse a barn fire in Cottage Grove.

Hay ignited Sunday evening inside a barn at a farm near Jamaica Avenue and Military Road in Cottage Grove. After spraying water and some fire-extinguishing foam for a couple of hours, fire crews got help when large tractors were used to remove all hay from the barn.

Fire crews cleared the scene about 2 a.m. Monday but returned several times to extinguish smoldering hay.

"It's going to go for a couple days," Redenius said later Monday morning.

The property is at 9119 Military Road and owned by Keith McHattie, Redenius said.

The other fire departments were called to assist due to a need for extra water, not because of the size of the fire. Redenius estimated they used more than 50,000 gallons of water. A house fire contained to one room may require less than 1,000 gallons of water.

The St. Paul Park, Newport, Woodbury and Lower St. Croix fire departments assisted.

Cause of the fire is unknown but nothing appears suspicious, Redenius said. There is no electricity in the barn, and the owner said he has not had trouble with juveniles entering the structure.

"It could be just a part of natural decomposing" of the hay, Redenius said.

Damage to the barn was estimated at $25,000 to $30,000, he said, not including the cost of the lost hay.

There were no reported injuries.

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