October 23, 2003

Harvest Season Keeping Local Firemen Busy

The Scotland County Fire Department responded to a pair of combine fires over the weekend.

The department was summoned to the Kevin Fromm residence north of Memphis at approximately 5:00 p.m. Saturday, October 18.

Fire Chief Roger Gosney indicated the Fromm combine was totally engulfed by flames when the firemen arrived at the scene. The department was able to bring the fire under control and to save the combineís head and tires. He noted that the machine had just been emptied prior to the blaze so no crops were lost.

The fire apparently started after a belt broke and caused the bearings to overheat, igniting the drive shaft and spreading from there.

Three fire trucks and nine firemen were on the scene for roughly an hour.

On Sunday, October 19, the fire department responded to a call from the Donnie Gibson property north of Arbela at 1:45 p.m. where the combine of Trent Shultz had ignited and caught the adjoining cut bean and cornfields.

Upon arrival the fire department found approximately seven or eight acres involved in the fire. The blaze on the combine had been extinguished. Ten firemen and four fire trucks took care of the blaze in 15 minutes.

The combine ignited for a second time prior to the departmentís departure and it was extinguished with little damage. The machine was igniting chaff and other residue from the harvest and had dropped the burning material on the field igniting the fire that ultimately burned approximately 10 acres.

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