TOWN OF SMELSER — Emergency personnel fighting a shed fire on Wisconsin 80 between Cuba City and Platteville Thursday afternoon also assisted with a car crash that occurred near the scene of the fire.
The Cuba City Fire Department responded to a shed on fire at 3657 Highway 80, the farm owned by Keith Dieter, at approximately 4:15 p.m. The shed — full of hay and corn stalk bales — was fully engulfed when crews arrived.
Platteville fire and EMS, Hazel Green fire, Cuba City EMS and Wiederholt Excavating assisted at the scene. Traffic control was provided by Cuba City Fire Department members to allow emergency vehicles to safely transport water from Cuba City to the fire scene.
“It was tight quarters getting the trucks in and out,” said Cuba City Fire Chief Steve Tranel. “Having mutual aid helped.”
More mutual aid was required after a two-car crash at the fire scene about 50 minutes after firefighters were called.
According to the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, at approximately 5:05 p.m. Nieley Daily, 26, Platteville, and her 6-year-old daughter were traveling northbound on 80 when she was stopped south of the fire scene by a member of the Cuba City Fire Department.
Daily’s car was rear-ended by a vehicle driven by Michael Connolly, 44, Platteville. Connolly told officials he did not realize Daily’s vehicle had stopped in front of him. When the vehicles collided, Daily’s vehicle careened across the southbound lanes into the ditch on the west side of the highway.
According to the sheriff’s department, the Cuba City firefighter providing traffic control dove into the ditch line on the east side of the highway to avoid getting struck by either vehicle.
The Hazel Green and Platteville fire Jaws of Life were called to the crash scene. The Hazel Green Police Department assisted at the crash scene.
Wisconsin 80 between St. Rose Road and Lone Road was closed to traffic for approximately an hour as emergency personnel investigated and rendered aid at the crash scene.
All three parties involved in the crash were transported to Southwest Health Center in Platteville by Cuba City EMS for their injuries. Both drivers were wearing seatbelts and the child was in a child safety seat.
Daily was cited for no insurance on a vehicle; Connolly was cited for inattentive driving.
Emergency personnel remained at the scene of the fire until approximately 11:30 p.m.
“We managed to get everything done even with the accident at the same time,” said Tranel.
Tranel said approximately 60 emergency personnel assisted at the fire where an estimated 110,000 gallons of water was used to extinguish the smoldering bales. Tranel said the fire was believed to be accidental.
“The shed and its contents was a total loss,” he said. “There was also some damage to the siding on the house.”