WASHINGTON, Ill. – Authorities are investigating a large fire at a dairy farm in Tazewell County.
The fire started in a barn at 2213 E. Cruger Road in Washington just after 5 a.m. Friday.
More than a dozen area fire departments responded and helped haul in water.
"The dairy barn, it was fully involved upon our arrival. We concentrated on that and had a lot of hay bales, round hay bales, stacked around. We had to move those to keep the fire from spreading to the barn next to it and we were successful in doing that,” said Washington Fire Chief Mike Vaughn.
The land owner, Dick Miller, 75, was injured in the fire. He is currently in the Intensive Care Unit at Eureka Hospital.
At least three calves were killed in the fire.
The farm's operators said Miller had placed a heater inside the barn after a water line froze. The heater allegedly ignited several bales of hay.
Police shut down a portion of Dee-Mack Road south of U.S. 24 while firefighters battled the blaze.
Cruger Road was also blocked to through traffic between Main and Dee-Mack Road.