On Thursday, May 28th, 2020 at 4:58 a.m. the Epworth Fire Department was notified by the Dubuque County 911 Center of a working structure fire located at 18742 Prairie Creek Road, Bernard. Upon arrival, firefighters found a fully engulfed milking parlor attached to a large free stall barn with fire throughout the buildings. There were over 180 dairy cows in the cattle shed with the majority able to be evacuated. At least one milk cow perished in the smoke. The farm is owned by Weber Brothers Dairy. The Epworth Fire Department would like to thank and commend the family and neighbors who brought the cattle trailers to help evacuate the dairy cattle to other farms assisting the family.
Firefighters remained on the scene for over five hours. Mutual aid assistance was provided by the Bernard, Centralia-Peosta, Farley, and Cascade Fire Departments for water support with tankers. The Epworth Fire Department was also assisted at the scene by the Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office and Maquoketa Valley REC. One firefighter was transported to a local hospital for treatment of a medical emergency. The exact cause of the fire is unknown with an origin in the milking parlor area.