Family trying to move on after barn fire - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Family trying to move on after barn fire


A family who lost their barn in a fire in Marathon County is trying to clean up and move forward.

The barn and two sheds in the Town of Cassel were destroyed over the weekend at the Knoeck Brothers Farm, killing nearly 80 cows.

"The barn was built in 1916 by my great grandparents," said Joel Knoeck. "Features on the farm, we either thought of ourselves or designed them ourselves, sometimes we even built them ourselves."

The farm, which raises polled registered Holsteins—a breed of cattle without horns—took pride in that history and the possibilities of the future.

"Always wondered what the future was gonna be," said Knoeck. "I would've never thought of this, that it would come down this way."

Now, as the clean-up continues, bits and pieces of their life are carried away.

"You think of all the work you put into it, to kind of see it go down the drain that fast, it's tough," said Knoeck.

It's tough for Knoeck to lose cattle he says were more like pets.

"I was told we had the highest-rated polled cow in the breed for milk and she was really a good one," he said.

For now, construction crews are removing rubble and neighbors are holding cattle that survived. For the ones that didn't make it, it's a loss Knoeck says is much greater than any dollar amount. But he has ideas for the future. It's just too early to say exactly what they are.

"It's pretty much all I've ever known," he said.

Investigators say they don't know what caused the fire.

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