1 injured when trailered straw burns

Photo courtesy Jasper Police Department

From Local Sources

JASPER — One person suffered burns when a trailer loaded with straw caught fire on the city’s north side today.

Units of the Jasper Volunteer Fire Department were notified about the fire at 11:24 a.m.

Assistant Fire Chief Mike Steurer said the man driving the pickup pulling the 16-by-8 tandem trailer pulled over on St. Charles Street near 36th Street. That driver, identified as Chip Kugler, of Jasper, reportedly suffered burns to his legs, arms and face.

Steurer was unsure if those injuries occurred while Kugler was trying to unhitch the trailer. Kugler was initially taken to Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center. He was later transferred to another facility, according to a Memorial spokeswoman.

The cause of the fire is undetermined.

“It didn’t look like it had anything to do with the (trailer’s) tires,” Steurer said. “We don’t know if it came from a cigarette from somewhere or anything. We couldn’t determine it.”

The trailer had been southbound. Steurer said Jasper Police Department officers were on the scene when firefighters arrived.

Steurer said the trailer was destroyed by the fire that kept firefighters on the scene almost two hours. Two trucks and 25 firefighters responded.

The assistent fire chief said the Jasper Street Department was called to bring a backhoe to the location.

“They came in and scooped up and hauled away all the straw,” Steurer said.

Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services also assisted.

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