An early morning fire Sunday destroyed a tractor-trailer and barn at a former dairy on the west side of Merrill.
A driver on Highway 64 reported the semi was on fire to 911 at about 6:30 a.m. at the former Seeger’s Dairy. By the time the Merrill Fire Department arrived on the scene the truck was fully in flames and the fire had spread to the barn.
The semi had been plugged into an area near where the fire had started, according to Capt. Scott Krause of the MFD.
There was no livestock in the barn at the time of the blaze. Half of the barn was used for storage and the other half was used as a working garage. Some equipment was destroyed in the fire, which was fueled by the plastic dairy crates and other material left over from the dairy operation. The flames could be seen for miles around in the early morning sky.
Fire fighters were able to contain the fire to just the barn, saving a block building next to it. A home on the property was far enough away from the blaze to not be endangered by the flames.
Firefighters had the blaze under control by 8 a.m. then spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon working on extinguishing hot spots. The wreckage of the barn was still smoking early Monday afternoon.