2 fires in 5 days for Celestine firefighters

Photos courtesy Celestine Volunteer Fire Department
The first run, involved a metal building showing smoke at a 1713 N. State Road 545 rental property owned by Scott and Holly Epple.

From Local Sources

CELESTINE — A hay bale fire late Monday afternoon marked the second fire run for the Celestine Volunteer Fire Department in the previous five days.

The first run, at 6:01 p.m. Thursday, involved a metal building showing smoke at a 1713 N. State Road 545 rental property owned by Scott and Holly Epple, according to Fire Chief Ryan Wineinger. The site is northeast of Celestine.

The first arriving units reported heavy smoke followed by flames showing at a 24-by-48 garage that included a small laundry room.

Wineinger said the building sustained major damage to the laundry room area, a portion of the roof and an exterior wall in the back of the building.

Some of the first firefighters on the scene removed a 2018 Chevrolet pickup truck and a 2004 Honda motorcycle. Those machines did sustain some limited heat and smoke damage, according to Wineinger. The chief added the extent of the damage to the vehicles was not immediately known, but all items and the structure were insured.

Five trucks and 22 firefighters were on the scene more than two hours.

An investigator from the Indiana State Fire Marshal’s Office determined the fire originated in or around the laundry room, however, a definitive cause could not be determined because of the extent of the damage in that area.

The Dubois County Sheriff’s Office and Dubois Rural Electric Cooperative assisted, as did a Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services ambulance that was on standby.

There were no injuries.

A 2018 Chevrolet pickup truck sustained damage during the fire.

Then, at 5:38 p.m. Monday, a hay bale fire was reported east of Celestine at Knies Farms, 9766 E. State Road 164.

Wineinger said an overheated round baler bearing caused a bale to ignite while still in the baler. Owner Brad Knies unloaded the bale from the baler before the machine could catch fire. Knies then moved the equipment to a safe location away from the hay field.

The burning bale ignited about one-quarter acre of unbaled hay, but firefighters halted flames before they reached an adjacent cornfield.

Damages and losses were limited to the single burned bale, which was pulled apart so hot spots could be extinguished, plus the damaged baler bearing.

Five trucks and 16 firefighters were on the scene 40 minutes.

There were no injuries

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