Massive fire destroys Barneveld family’s beloved barn

The Ogrizovich family helplessly watched as the barn burned to the ground
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 10:54 AM CST|Updated: Feb. 26, 2021 at 7:01 PM CST
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BARNEVELD, Wis. (WMTV) -A massive fire destroyed a beautiful, old barn early Saturday morning in on County Road H in Barneveld.

Ryan Ogrizovich had just gone down to his barn before 9 a.m. to take out the garbage. He returned to the home about 100 feet away and about 10 minutes later, he noticed something out the window.

“I yelled to my wife, the barn is on fire and I grabbed my coat and my hat and ran out the door,” said Ryan.

But all Ryan and the rest of his family could do was watch as the more than 100-year old barn went up in flames.

“It sounded like a freight train, like a semi-truck. It was loud, it was terrifying, there was debris falling all around,” added Ryan.

“It just wasn’t on fire, it was consumed,” said Malory Ogrizovich, Ryan’s wife.

Malory called 911 and recorded video on a cell phone as thick black smoke billowed into the bright blue sky and fiery debris scattered all around their home. She helped comfort their two young sons as they got dressed and out of the house to safety.

“At this point, you could feel the heat of the fire through the window (of the home),” said Malory.

For the Ogrizovich family, this was more than just a barn. It represented something much bigger.

“This barn was a dream of mine forever and our dream for our kids,” said Ryan. “And I just always wanted to have my own little homestead, and this was a symbol of that dream, so when I was watching it burn, it really was a gut punch,”

“We would wake up every morning and be in awe that we were here and living here,” said Malory.

And inside the barn was Ryan’s prized possession – a little old tractor from the 1940′s that his grandfather restored.

Ryan's prized possession was destroyed in the fire
Ryan's prized possession was destroyed in the fire(Ryan Ogrizovich)

“I was pulling my manure spreader with my old tractor and that would just putt-putt along,” Ryan said with a laugh. “It could never go very fast and I didn’t trust it going up uphill but it just kind of carried that sentimental value. Every time I started it up, I loved to show people,”

“Watching my husband was definitely when it became clear that this was a huge loss,” added Malory.

At first, Ryan says he felt grief and guilt. “It was under my watch that it burned,” he said.

His emotions are still pretty raw, but Ryan says he’s moved past the guilt and into a state of gratefulness.

“Now it’s just turning into I’m thankful. I can really say that with confidence, I just feel thankful. I’m grateful that I had the time that I did with the structure,” he said.

Even though the barn is gone, the memories made in and near it will always burn bright.

“These barns have a pulse, there’s a real essence to them,” said Malory. “I personally can still feel the essence of it,”

No one was hurt in the fire. Authorities believe it was caused by an electrical problem. The Ogrizovich family says they plan to rebuild the barn – hopefully within a year.

So far, a GoFundMe page has raised almost $10,000 for the family.

“As scary as this all was, we were held in such support and love and there are so many people that we don’t even know that have been offering reassurance and just so much love,” said Malory.

The barn stood for more than 100 years
The barn stood for more than 100 years(Ryan Ogrizovich)

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