Ashes from a wood burning stove are being blamed as the cause of a morning shed fire near Richwood that caused $120,000 in damages Sunday.

Watertown Fire Chief Kraig Biefeld said his department received an emergency call at 9:50 a.m. and was first to arrive at W7824 Quarry Road in the Town of Shields to find a shed used for storage and a workshop in flames.

“It looks right now as if ashes from the wood burning stove caused the wood nearby to catch fire and start the blaze,” Biefeld said Sunday. “That right now looks to be the origin of the fire.”

Biefeld said the fire heavily damaged the 30-by-50 foot shed containing miscellaneous tools, chainsaws and lawnmowers.

The property is owned by Jeffrey and Lisa Kluslo, according to Dodge County land records.

“We were able to knock the fire down quickly,” Biefeld said, “but the wind continued to feed the fire, which was difficult for us at times.”

Biefeld said the fire was under control by 10:26 a.m., but what took fire crews longer was tearing apart the shed and pulling the wood apart to extinguish any possible hot spots. He said 16,000 gallons of water were used just during the overhaul.

Biefeld said he had enough firefighters on the scene to rotate them in and out of the wind and cold.

Firefighters from Ashippun, CLR (Clyman, Lowell and Reeseville), Hustisford, Ixonia, Johnson Creek, and Lebanon were called to aid Watertown firefighters. Lake Mills EMS was also on the scene to assist firefighters.

Biefeld said before the fire call his department’s members were returning from an EMS call. He said during the fire call Lake Mills Fire and Western Lakes Fire District and EMS manned the Watertown firehouse.

“We had four calls while we were at the fire,” Biefeld said. “Three of them were EMS-related calls and another was a carbon monoxide call.”

He said there were no injuries on the fire scene.

“Everyone did a great job battling the fire and working through the overhaul,” Biefeld said. “The mutual aid really helped us in the cold weather, too.”

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