Tractor fire

Yesterday, as I was setting in my blog room watching the television when I heard my phone ring. It took me a while to get up and get to the phone. By the time I picked up the phone the caller had hung up. I looked at the number of the call, it came from one of my neighbors. Since there was no message left on the answering machine I figured that the neighbor would call back.
Just a few minutes later as I looked out the window I saw my neighbor’s car drive up and park in front of the house. My neighbor’s wife jumped out of the car and ran to the front door. As soon as I saw the car pull up I figured something was wrong. So, I ran out the side door as my neighbors wife was talking to my wife at the front door. She quickly told me that her husband needed help. She stated that his tractor was on fire and he was unable to put it out. He was afraid if it wasn’t put out it would burn up the whole tractor. So, I quickly jumped in my golf cart and backed it up to my shop where I picked up my very large and heavy fire extinguisher. I put it in the golf cart and raced off to my neighbor’s property. I found my neighbor, whose name is Perry, coming out of the back of his property on his four-wheeler. As I got the location I could see his tractor in a field. There was fire on the ground that shot up along the side of his tractor. The flames were substantial and roared up to about 12 feet high. As soon as I got to the tractor my neighbor grabbed the fire extinguisher and with several blasts from the extinguisher he put out the fire. But quickly after putting out the fire it would reignite. It did this several times. It appeared as if there was a leak coming from the tube that is out of the fuel tank. Diesel fuel was slowly dripping upon the hot engine which cause the fire to reignite. After a complete dousing of the fire with the extinguisher fire retardant, the fire would not ignite again. After the fire was out I could see diesel fuel still slowly dripping from the fuel tank. While inspecting the area of the fire Perry found the fuel cut off switch. While the fire was roaring the switch was hidden from view. Once the fuel was shut off there was no more fire, just a lot of smoke coming from the side and front of the tractor.
I must admit that in all my years in law enforcement I thought I’d seen every kind of fire. But this is the first time that I’ve seen a tractor fire. My neighbor was very lucky as the fire was underneath the tractor burning on the hay in the middle of a hayfield in July. Fortunately, just a day before there was a light rain that went to the area which dampened all of the hay on the ground. In the end, everyone was okay except for the very old and large Ford tractor. The tractor will have to be sent out and inspected for damage.
The image of a tractor in a hayfield with flames burning from the ground and up through the body of the tractor to almost 12 feet in the air is an image that I will remember for a long time. Even though that was bad news, the good news was that it had recently rained and that I had this humongous fire extinguisher. I’ve had that extinguisher since I moved into the house and I had never tested it. But I knew was very heavy and I believe it to be full. I was thrilled when my neighbor pulled the trigger and a huge amount of fire retardant blasted out.
My thought to you, is no matter where you live you should have a good size fire extinguisher. My neighbor had used several small extinguishers to try to put the fire out with no success. So, if you can remember when you went to school and you saw these big red canisters, that is the size of extinguisher you need. Remember, you cannot put water on a fuel fire. So, have the proper extinguisher available.

One thought on “Tractor fire”

  1. When I read the title I was hoping it was not your tractor!
    Way to go Pops the fireman! So blue canaries CAN be hose draggers too, who knew?

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