Pheasant farm in Town of Genesee badly damaged by fire

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TOWN OF GENESEE (WITI) -- A massive fire tears through a Waukesha sportsmen's club in the Town of Genesee early Tuesday, June 11th. The fire destroyed two barns and hundreds of game birds were also lost.

The Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call around 2:46 a.m. from a passerby advising that a barn was on fire on Wern Way.

Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department responded along with 23 Waukesha County Fire Departments, five Jefferson County Fire Departments and one Washington County Fire Department. Upon arrival, emergency personnel found two barns fully engulfed in flames. The residents of the adjacent apartments and farm house were safely evacuated.

Authorities believe a brooder, which was used to keep the pheasant chicks warm, may have caused the fire. According to fire officials, 600 pheasant chicks died as a result of the fire.

There were reports of explosions, however that is inaccurate. Officials say during the fire several liquid petroleum tanks heated up and vented, which sounded like an explosion.

Both barns appear to be a total loss.

The fire remains under investigation by the Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department.

Two people on the scene of the fire suffered minor injuries. They were treated at a hospital.

The owner of the club says there is one bright spot in all of this. The bird were insured -- and he says day-to-day operations will not be affected.