Grain Bin Fire

One week ago, as I was coming home past my parent’s farm, I saw fire trucks with flashing lights, tanker trucks, semis, tons of cars and people all around one of the new bins.  An ambulance was parked down the road in my parent’s driveway.  When I went into the house and asked Mom what was going on she didn’t know a thing about it.  We quickly drove up there the back way to stay clear of all the vehicles.  There were people everywhere but most of them seemed to be just standing around.  I asked my cousin what was going on and he told me there was a hot spot in the bin.  I guess this kind of thing used to happen a lot in the old days.  A little spot of moisture would heat up causing spontaneous combustion but these days with the modern bins that agitate the grain, you don’t hear about it much. At some point, someone told me they thought something was wrong with the inside of the bin causing two pieces of metal to scrape against each other and throw sparks.  Firefighters were peeping into a little door at the top of the bin where smoke was billowing out and squirting the fire when it flashed up.

They were trying to unload all the grain so there were semi trucks constantly coming and going.  I talk to Dad and he’d only been there 10 minutes because he and my brother had continued to harvest and haul grain to a different location while my cousins were spearheading the firefighting efforts.  It’s a late harvest this year and they’ve been under a  lot of pressure to finish between bouts of rainy weather.  Dad asked Mom and me to provide some food for these volunteer firefighters who’d already been there several hours.

Soon it was time to get Dollface off the bus and then Mom and I brainstormed what to do about getting food up there.  She thought pizza would be easiest so I called a local place in our very small town that hasn’t been open long.  I ordered 15 pizzas.  They called back twice to check that it wasn’t a prank.  Mom started gathering the fixings for coffee and Dollface came with me to our little grocery store and we loaded my car with water and soda.  While we were loading the car, I over heard two people in the parking lot who were loudly wondering what was going on up the road.

By the time we dropped off the pizza, it was dark and it seemed to me some of the firefighters had left but my aunt and a few other curiosity seekers had come.  They’d gotten a very loud piece of equipment, which I later learned was a type of giant  industrial vaccuum, to help empty the bin.  It was pretty cold and I knew my brother and Dad were in for a long night.  C and Stretch were at a concert so I took Dollface home and did the supper and homework routine.  When we got to her house, she called for her mom and of course got no answer.  She loudly and worriedly exclaimed, “OH NO!  Whose going to watch me??” It was kind of funny in the midst of a dramatic night.

Everything is ok.  I must have heard and said hundreds of times over the past week that it “could have been worse”.  No one was hurt, very little grain was lost and although financial loss was a worry for a while because it was doubtful that my dad had actually contacted the insurance company and the grain bin company was being awful quiet about their mistake.  However, it looks like the grain bin company is going to stand by their installation and fix their mistake while insurance will cover the rest.

I should be 31 weeks pregnant today.

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