Considerable damage sustained in combine fire Saturday afternoon
By Jan Schultz
The Imperial Republican
Damage was considerable to a 2006 Cat 580R combine involved in a fire Saturday, north of Lamar.
Both the Lamar and Imperial Volunteer Fire Departments were on the scene, first called about 3:30 p.m. Both departments returned to the scene later in the day about 8:30 p.m. as a precaution.
Imperial Fire Chief Bryan Dannatt said the combine, owned by Jeff Wallin, was picking corn about six and a half miles north of Lamar on Rd. 315.
Wallin’s hired man, who was operating the combine, “heard something break inside” the machine, Dannatt said. When he got out to investigate, he saw fire.
He initially knocked it down with an extinguisher that was in the combine. The Lamar department was first on the scene, applying foam to stop the fire from spreading.
Once the IVFD arrived, Dannatt said they continued to work with Lamar firefighters to get the machine cooled down. Firefighters were on the scene initially about an hour.
Later in the day, Dannatt said he and Lamar Chief Brian Prosser went back out to check the combine, and saw that it was still smoking. They decided to call both departments back as a precaution.
Firefighters spent another hour and a half on the scene attempting to remove the harvest debris that had collected in several hard-to-reach parts of the machine, Dannatt said.
More water and foam was also used the second time out to make sure the fire was extinguished, Dannatt said.
“It was just one of those tough jobs getting all of the debris out of the nooks and crannies,” Dannatt said.
Dannatt said there was some melted wiring and small access covers on the machine damaged, but Wallin had no dollar estimate on damage yet Tuesday.
Corn collected in the combine’s bin wasn’t damaged, according to Dannatt.