Nov. 27, 2018 – Hartford, WI – The Hartford, Slinger, and St. Lawrence Fire Departments were called to a corn dryer fire Tuesday morning, Nov. 27, at United Coop, 1112 W. Sumner Street.
The call came in at 8:20 a.m and smoke was seen from HWY 60.
“There were no injuries,” said Hartford City Administrator, Steve Volkert. “Hartford Fire and Rescue were on the scene for about 90 minutes.”
“Fire in the corn dryer always can be a challenging type of fire for us,” said Hartford Fire Chief Paul Stephans. “It’s confined and hard to get at and you don’t want to rip apart the machinery and take it out of service just because it complicates things for the operation.”
Stephans said the department has had similar experiences in the past and each one they learn a bit more.
“Today things went quite well and we were able to extinguish it in about an hour. There was minimal damage to the corn dryer itself and I think the coop is also able to save some of the corn in the dryer.”
Chief Stephans said the fire normally starts in “certain areas of the dryer where corn can ammululate and it doesn’t get cleaned out as often as it should.”
“Over time the more the corn is dried it becomes more combustable and can start on fire and we suspect that’s what happened,” he said. “It was partly a maintenance issue with some corn inside the dryer that did start on fire.”
Hartford FD also received assistance from Lifestar Ambulance.
Photo credit: on-scene photos Brittany Girard and graphic from Google Maps.