Fatal accident scene

 An accident at a logging operation in the 1200 block of U.S. Hwy. 8, west of Barron, claimed the life of a 56-year-old Sawyer County man on Monday, March 23, 2020. Mayo Clinic Ambulance was among the first responders to the scene. The mishap took place about 300 yards south of this location. Photo by Bob Zientara

A logging accident in a storm-damaged area west of Barron cost the life of a Stone Lake, Wis., resident on Monday afternoon, March 23, 2020, according to the Barron County Sheriff’s Department.

Nathan P. Hecker, 56, was pinned between the cab and engine compartment of piece of equipment as he worked on a log skidding machine in a woodlot about 300 yards south of U.S. Hwy. 8, near the intersection of County Hwy. TT, Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said Tuesday, March 24.

Dispatch logs indicated the victim’s son called 911 around 12:45 to report the incident. Responding to the scene were deputies from the Barron County Sheriff’s Department, Mayo Ambulance, Barron-Maple Grove Fire Department, First Responders, Lifelink Helicopter, and the Barron County Medical Examiner’s Office

Mike Romsos, Barron-Maple Grove fire chief, said his department used a UTV to reach the scene of the accident, then helped to set up a landing area for the Lifelink Helicopter before it was learned the victim had passed away.

Dispatch logs also said that a minister from Barron Foursquare Church was asked to contact the Sheriff’s Department, in the aftermath of the accident.

Three fire calls

Romsos said the logging accident was the second of three calls that his department handled on March 23.

The busy day began shortly before 6 a.m. when a barn fire was reported in the 1500 block of 17th Street near Barron.

“There were pigs in the barn, and something around the (pig) enclosure started on fire,” the chief said.

“But there was a water tank nearby, and the family brought a hose from the house. It saved the barn. The fire got into the haymow, but we were able to put that out. The homeowner and his friends did a heck of a job. We weren’t the heroes – they were.”

At about 6:15 p.m., a vehicle fire was reported in the 1300 block of 15th Avenue, northwest of Barron.

“A gentleman was on his way to a buddy’s house on his moped when it caught fire,” Romsos said. “He wasn’t hurt, but the bike was totaled.”