Ferdinand-area barn saved when backhoe burns

From Local Sources

FERDINAND — Units of the Ferdinand Volunteer Fire Department responded Wednesday night when a backhoe was reported on fire in a barn southeast of Ferdinand.

The 8:38 p.m. call sent the department to the William Giesler farm at 11972 S. 285E, according to Fire Chief John Hoppenjans.

Hoppenjans said flames were coming from the engine compartment of a 1983 Ford 555 backhoe when firefighters arrived. The fire department quickly extinguished the fire.

The chief said the backhoe valued at between $12,000 and $13,000 was a total loss but there was little to no damage to the barn.

The cause of the fire is undetermined but was likely electrical in nature because the piece of equipment had been parked for several hours by the time of the incident.

Five trucks and 20 firefighters were on the scene 45 minutes.

Assisting agencies were the Ferdinand Police Department and a Memorial Hospital Emergency Medical Services ambulance that remained on standby.

Earlier, at 2:59 p.m., the department responded to an alarm activation at the Sisters of St. Benedict, 802 E. 10th St.

There was no fire, Hoppenjans said. Instead, he added, dust created when maintenance staff cleaned some equipment triggered a detector.

Two trucks and eight firefighters were on the scene 15 minutes. The Ferdinand Police Department assisted.

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