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Tractors lost in hoop barn blaze

Multiple departments respond to rural fire

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Firefighters from Lehigh, Duncombe, Otho and Dayton, along with others, take apart hay bales to put out a fire Monday afternoon. The blaze, which started in a hoop barn, destroyed two tractors and part of a hoop barn.

EVANSTON — A couple of classic International Harvesters were the only casualties of a fire that broke out in a hoop barn Monday evening between Duncombe and Lehigh.

No humans or animals were harmed in the fire, reported around 5:30 p.m. at 2608 255th St.

Some hay bales also burned in the blaze.

The tractors were an IH 706 and a 1486, said the owner Roger Smith.

“I’ve had both of them quite a while,” he said.

-Messenger photo by Joe Sutter
Lehigh Fire Chief Aaron Morriss hoses down an old 706 IH tractor while the owner, Roger Smith, looks on. Two tractors and a number of hay bales were lost when fire engulfed this end of the hoop barn Monday evening.

“I was glad when the fire department got here,” Smith went on. “I thought the whole shed was going to go. Flames were coming out the top.”

The two tractors were a total loss, said Lehigh Fire Chief Aaron Morriss, and a planter next to them is likely ruined as well.

They were able to save three combines that were at the other end of the structure, Smith said.

“They had started up this bigger tractor,” Morriss said. “And I think they just let it run. I’m not sure of the cause right now.”

Lehigh, Duncombe, Otho and Dayton fire departments responded.

When he got to the farm, Morriss said there was heavy smoke coming from the structure.

“We pulled two 1 1/2 inch cross lays, and started to attack the building, and had the farmer take hay bales out with a tractor,” Morriss said.

Firefighters were beginning to wrap things up by 6:40 p.m.

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