‘A freaky thing to see:’ Firefighter reacts after possible tornado damages Deerfield
DEERFIELD, Wis. — A probable tornado tore off the roof of a building in the village of Deerfield Thursday afternoon, according to a news release from the Dane County Sheriff’s Office.
Velocity scan near Deerfield around 3:50pm showing some rotation. Fire officials are still on scene after a building collapsed. Possible tornado would have gone through right about the time of the collapse. #swiwx #wiwx pic.twitter.com/IeTOJNZejI
— Dave Caulfield (@DaveCaulfield_) August 9, 2018
Officials said they were called to a business park around 3:52 p.m. after a city called the Dane County Communications Center to report seeing a tornado touch down at the business park.
Employees at the International Machine Exchange later reported that the roof had been torn off of their building at 214 N. Main St. and there is extensive damage.
There were three employees inside the building at the time, but all three were unharmed by the storm, officials said.
Tina Gaustad lives nearby and was home when the storm came through. She said she had never been in a tornado before.
“When I saw this I started shaking,” Gaustad said. “I immediately it was running through the house. I didn’t know what to do. I was literally about to cry.”
First responders also noticed an odor of natural gas coming from inside International Machine Exchange. Officials evacuated Gaustad’s home, nearby businesses and a day care while first responders shut off the gas line inside the business’s main building.
About a block south residents had trees blown over. One couple had a tree branch pierce the roof of their porch and stop just shy of breaking into the kitchen.
Holy cow. Probable tornado in Deerfield ripped off some giant branches on this old tree. One of them went through the roof of this family’s porch, stopping just shy of the kitchen. #news3 pic.twitter.com/yePEDLONWJ
— Amy Reid (@amyreidreports) August 9, 2018
Deerfield Fire Department President Dennis Wardell said the damage could have been a lot worse. He said the time it happened meant a lot of people weren’t working in the industrial side of town, and with how quickly the storm touched down there was minimal damage.
“A freaky thing to see something pop out right away then pop right back up,” he said. “Wisconsin weather doesn’t care.”
Officials shut down roads between North Industrial Drive and South Industrial Drive for more than an hour.
The National Weather Service said it is probable that a tornado touched down in Deerfield.
Firefighters from the Lake Mills Fire Department responded to handle calls for service, while the Deerfield Fire Department assisted with the gas leak and evacuations.
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