Two local fire departments, four fire-fighting vehicles, and a Union County-owned backhoe/front end loader responded to a fire on a hay wagon Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 23.
Before you conclude it was over-kill, here are the salient facts:
At about 3:35 p.m. a man was pulling a flat trailer, loaded with several large, round bales of hay, behind a pickup truck at the intersection of Highway 15 North and Sam T. Barkley Drive north of New Albany.
The hay caught fire, cause not yet determined, and the pickup and hay trailer stopped in the intersection of the two roads.
Fire fighters were quickly dispatched. The closest volunteer fire department was the North Haven Volunteer Fire Department, which dispatched three trucks.
The New Albany Fire Department dispatched one truck.
The North Haven firemen were resourceful. After the pickup was unhooked from the burning hay wagon, the firemen hitched it to a North Haven Fire Department truck and towed it out of the busy intersection. They pulled the burning wagon perhaps 150 yards, from the intersection to a nearby cleared field.
A backhoe/front end loader from the Union County Road Department came to the scene. It rolled the burning bales off of the 15-foot wagon onto the bare ground. The backhoe rig then broke up the tightly packed hay bales, so firemen could go about extinguishing the flames.
The New Albany Fire Truck went back to the fire station on Cleveland Street.
The North Haven Firemen and their equipment remained and went about the work of pouring many gallons of water on the hay.
New Albany Fire Chief Steve Coker was at the hay fire. Coker also serves as Union County Fire Coordinator. As Fire Coordinator, Coker handles administrative work, including acquisition of new fire trucks, for the volunteer fire departments around rural Union County.
Nobody got hurt, and the fire was mostly extinguished before 5 p.m. There was exactly the right combination of manpower and equipment to “get ‘er done.”
Before you scoff at such a mundane story, think of this:
How in blazes do you figure the Memphis Fire Department would have been able to put out a flaming hay wagon at the intersection of Union Avenue and Fourth St? Never had imagined that had you? Well there you go!