12 departments called in to battle massive barn fire in Mequon

MEQUON (WITI) -- Fire crews were called to the scene of a massive barn fire in Mequon on Wednesday morning, December 25th.

The fire started around 6:00 a.m. Christmas morning, and about 12 hours later, the barn was still smoldering and smoke was seen rising from what is left of the barn.

12 fire departments from across the area stepped in to help -- and those fire crews didn't leave the scene until about 1:00 p.m.

The barn was 100 years old -- and there were about 20 cows inside the barn when the fire started.

The owner of the Schoessow Dairy Farm helped to get the animals out safely -- and no one was injured.

The family patriarch grew up working in the barn. He got a scary awakening on Christmas morning when he realized the barn was on fire.

"Woke up this morning, trying to get out of bed and I saw the flashing at the intersection and I thought that it was an accident.  When I got out here in the kitchen, flames were coming out of the side of the barn already and the fire trucks were coming in from all over. It was really kind of odd waking up on Christmas morning to this. I spent about half of my lifetime working in (the barn)," Gerhard Schoessow said.

Gerhard Schoessow lives in a home adjacent to the barn that caught fire on the farm's property. His son now runs the farm.

Schoessow says this is not an ideal way to spend Christmas -- but he says he is giving thanks no one was hurt.

He says he ran to try to help as soon as he noticed the flames.

"I just ran. Got my jacket and ran out. Couldn't do much anymore. It was too hot," Schoessow said.

Mequon Fire officials planned to check on the barn throughout Wednesday evening.