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Fire hits Mount Vernon farm hard

Linda Hanson runs across her backyard as a fire burns in the background near her house in rural Mount Vernon. (Chris Huber/Republic)2 / 2

MOUNT VERNON -- A Tuesday fire at the farm of Linda Hanson northwest of Mount Vernon took firefighters from four fire departments more than two hours to get under control.

Firefighters from Mount Vernon, Mitchell, Plankinton and Letcher responded to the scene, about five miles northwest of Mount Vernon. Lost in the fire were three buildings on the south side of Hanson's farm -- a livestock barn, chicken coop and storage shed -- as well as about 85 hay bales, two pickup trucks and 40 chickens.

Hanson's home was not damaged.

Once the blaze was controlled, Mount Vernon firefighters remained at the scene to ensure the fire didn't flare up again and to extinguish the last of the bales that had caught fire.

Hanson said she has no idea how the fire started.

"The dog just kept barking and barking," she said. "I finally went out to look, and the livestock barn was filled with smoke."

According to Hanson, she does not keep any propane or any other flammable material near the barn.

Despite the extensive damage, Hanson said she couldn't thank the firefighters enough, because it could have been even worse.

"If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here," she said. "The way the wind was blowing, it would have gotten to the house."

Mitchell firefighter and paramedic Joe Dolezal said the wind was a concern for firefighters, too.

"Our biggest concern was it spreading," he said. "We weren't going to put out the buildings and save them, because they were already too far gone."

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

"It doesn't add up to me," Hanson said. "We'll just have to wait and see what they come up with."