Thursday, November 7, 2013

It Could Have Been So Much Worse

How quickly our day's plans changed. And yet, it could have been so much worse.

The Farmer went out to do chores this morning, and immediately noticed the plume of black smoke from the vicinity of the compost facility. He ran.

What he found was the beginning of this. He quickly surmised that a skid steer (a.k.a. bobcat) on fire with fuel in it was more than he could handle on his own. He ran back up to the house, while dialing 911. He called to me that the skid steer was on fire, and he was going to "get the truck".

He is a part-time, on-call firefighter, and the station is a mile from our farm. Good odds. Yet look at how close that skid steer was to the edge of the barn.

In the meantime, I alerted my dad about the fire by phone. He was able to move the tractor out of the barn, just in case the fire spread. I alerted my in-laws by banging on their door and yelling FIRE! I grabbed one of the house fire extinguishers, and asked them to bring more.

The fire extinguishers were useless, which The Farmer knew. But sometimes you just have to try. I watched and waited, wishing there was something I could do to keep the barn from starting on fire. There is no water close to this area, and just as I had determined to go struggle with 100 feet of hose in an effort to cool things off, the fire trucks started to arrive.

I caught myself being impatient as they laid out their hoses and went through their procedures carefully. 

Finally they began squirting water. The flames quickly turned to smoke.

But those flames were persistent, and came back. Rubber tires don't really stop burning until they decide they are ready to stop.

The firefighters chose to drag the skid steer away from the building. Good thing we have a tractor handy, and some log chain.

In addition to the water, the firefighters used foam to completely extinguish the flames.

I think we will have to go shopping for a new skid steer. This one has been such a handy tool that we have come to depend on it for many things. It is a disappointing loss. But we are so grateful to God that the barns did not catch fire. It could have been so much worse.


  1. Lona, I am so glad your barns were okay. Your guardian angels were working overtime today.

  2. Lona, this brings tears to my eyes just thinking of how stressful and scary this must have been for you all. Praise be to God for the health and safety of all those involved. So thankful The Farmer saw it when he did. *hugs to all*

  3. I am so very glad that no one was injured, and that you lost just a single (albeit important) piece of equipment. I'm grateful that your husband is a volunteer firefighter, and that more homegrown heroes like him were there to help you - men and women who volunteer like him are such a blessing to everyone around them when they drop everything to help someone else.

  4. Seeing this brings tears to my eyes! I wish I could bring you a treat and a hug!! I'm so thankful you are all OK, you have quick access to help, and the barn was saved. So thankful!

  5. Lona, I felt a little bit sick to my stomach when I saw the first picture and began to read your post ~ Praise God it was only what it was and nothing more! Thank you for such a stark reminder of how quickly things can happen!

  6. Wow! We said the same thing on Friday the 8th for the same issue! Our skidsteer caught fire in an open space between our barns, silo and manure storage. I guess we will both be going through the process of finding a new skidsteer and all of the financial headaches that go with an unplaned purchase.


Share This