January 22, 2009

Fire causes major damage to tractor north of Center

Brad Meckle was just going to get some grain for his son’s 4-H project at his family’s farmstead seven miles north of Center on Jan. 14. Then he decided to walk to the Quonset. When he opened the door, he was amazed to see his 7410 John Deere tractor on fire.

Meckle tried to get at the fire extinguisher in the tractor, but the smoke and heat was too intense. He used the next best thing he could find to put it out, snow. Meckle called the Oliver County Fire Department in Center as soon as he could.

Fire chief Erik Montgomery said by the time volunteers arrived Meckle had the fire out. They stayed about an hour as a precaution to make sure the fire didn’t start up again and offer any assistance. Meckle didn’t know for certain as of Jan. 16 what had caused the fire but believed it to be electrically related.

Meckle’s wife Milissa said that the fire department deserves praise.

"They were just awesome," she said. "They were there immediately, just minutes after Brad called, and in that terrible cold, too."

Another tractor, a pickup, a feed wagon, and two four-wheelers were also in the building but were unharmed.

The Weather Network