by Mindy Mateuszczyk
A four-alarm fire broke out Thursday afternoon in Dayton, drawing crews from a dozen fire departments. Eyewitness reports said the fire was ablaze around 3 p.m. on Dayton resident Adrian Dahlheimer’s property on North Diamond Lake Road, just north of Zanzibar Lane.
Dahlheimer owns 68 acres on the east side of North Diamond Lake Road and 40 acres on the west side. He said he was cutting apart a hay bale with a chainsaw on the 68 acre portion of land when it somehow caught on fire.
“I stomped it out in the mud and thought I got it out,” Dahlheimer said. He said he then threw it in the feed barn. “There must have still been a spark in there.”
Smoke could be seen from as far away as County Road 81 in Maple Grove. There were no initial reports of injuries.
Due to the lack of city water in the vicinity several tanker trucks from the various responding departments took turns transporting water from a hydrant in the Rogers neighborhood of Brockton Meadows and a hydrant at Rogers Middle School, about 2 miles down the road. Crews emptied the water from the tanker trucks into at least three holding tanks used to fight the fire.
The crew of the Rogers’ $1.3 million ladder truck fought the fire from about 50 feet above. Electricity was cut in the area to protect fire fighters on the ladder truck.
Dahlheimer said after the fire in 2002 that took down the house on the property, he had been living in an RV trailer. That trailer was engulfed in flames Thursday along with other structures and material located on the property. Buildings on the property include a machine shop and a sheep barn which houses 38 sheep.
The fire around New Year’s in 2002 destroyed the original homestead, which Dahlheimer said was built in 1851. Dahlheimer has resided on the property in the 16200 block of North Diamond Lake Road since 1938.