Just as luck should have it, the night the Fennimore Fire Department was supposed to be celebrating its 100th anniversary with an open house and dance, its members would be called to duty with the spread of a large brush fire.
The Fennimore Fire Department was dispatched to the top of Castle Rock on County Q in Castle Rock Township at approximately 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
The fire had begun to spread to a large wooded area around the rock. Assistance was requested from Stitzer, Livingston, Montfort, Blue River, and Boscobel Fire Departments. The Muscoda Fire Department and Montfort EMS also assisted at the scene.
According to EMS chief and first assistant fire chief Rick Kreul, the fire quickly spread covering the base of the rock and its sides.
Because of it’s heavily wooded location, trees had to be sawed down in order for firefighters to get close enough to extinguish it. Over two thousand feet of hose were needed to reach the flames.
“Some of the people who lived nearby brought over their ATVs and Gators for us to use to get up and down the hill,” Kreul said. “It was quite complex.”
In total, 55 firefighters responded to the scene from seven different departments, as well as 15-20 area EMS volunteers. They were on the scene for over five hours.
One fireman was transported to the Grant Regional Health Center in Lancaster by Fennimore EMS for smoke inhalation. The Montfort EMS transported another fireman to Upland Hills Health Center in Dodgeville for similar issues.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the Department of Natural Resources.
Although they were gone for the majority of the celebration, many members returned to the department for the annual firemen’s dance.