Fire destroys shed, hay, semi-tractors

Fire destroys shed, hay, semi-tractors by M. Jill Sundstrom A Sunday evening fire destroyed a hay shed and its contents six miles southeast of Gayville.

About 40 fire fighters from both Gayville and Vermillion responded to the call that came in at about 6:30 p.m. from a passing motorist.

�We got there within four to five minutes of the time of the call,� said Gayville Fire Chief Steve Larson. �When we arrived, the entire building was fully involved and all the hay inside was on fire.�

Owner of the property Clark Larson of Meckling estimated that about 40 semi-loads of hay were stored inside, along with three semi-tractors, according to Chief Larson.

�The person that called it in said that he saw one tractor on fire,� Chief Larson said.

The state fire marshal will not be called to investigate, he added.

�My initial call for now will be that the semi-tractor was the cause of the fire,� Chief Larson said. �But the insurance investigators will be coming in and they may say something different.�

As fire fighters were on the scene, one of their main tasks was keeping the flames away from a diesel fuel tank located nearby.

�There was no saving the building and its contents, so we were there to protect what surrounded it,� said Vermillion Fire Chief Doug Brunick. �We were concerned about the diesel fuel tank, which was eventually moved out, and a gas tank. But that turned out to be empty.�

Chief Larson added that a grove of trees was also a major factor in the fire fighters� efforts.

�We were concerned that one side of the hay shed was going to fall out into the trees,� he said.

But they were able to prevent that, Chief Larson added.

The property owner and several Gayville fire fighters continued to check the scene throughout the night, as the hay smoldered.

The estimated loss is from $250,000 to $300,000, according to Chief Larson.

�That�s the estimate the owner gave me,� he said.

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