Residents of Sleepy Eye heard the wail of sirens early Saturday morning, and the sirens continued to wail, as the Sleepy Eye Fire Department battled a barn fire.

Residents of Sleepy Eye heard the wail of sirens early Saturday morning, and the sirens continued to wail, as the Sleepy Eye Fire Department battled a barn fire at 23791 US Highway 14 (across the highway from Christensen Farms.) A thick plume of dark gray smoke was visible from town.

Sleepy Eye Fire Chief Ron Zinniel said the department was dispatched to the scene at 6:45 a.m. and soon assisted by the New Ulm, Hanska, and Comfrey departments. Zinniel said New Ulm brought a tanker and pumper, and Hanska and Comfrey each brought a tanker to help get water to the sight. Zinniel said they used approximately 50,000 gallons of water to bring the fire under control.

Zinniel said 15 Sleepy Eye firefighters were on the scene, plus three more in town filling tankers. The other departments’ firefighters also helped at the scene. The Sleepy Eye Fire Department returned to town about 11 a.m. Zinniel said the mutual aid departments left the scene around 10 a.m.

“We were able to contain the fire damage to the one barn,” Zinniel said. “Everything went well and nobody got hurt.”

There are three turkey barns on the farm — the one that burned was being used for storage, and another to the south (not visible in this photo) was empty and not damaged. The barn to the west (right) of the burned barn housed 7,000 turkeys that were not harmed.

Zinniel said the State Fire Marshal came to inspect the fire scene, but as of Tuesday morning, said the cause of the fire was undetermined.