Sibley, Iowa — The Sibley Fire Department has responded to three fire calls in recent days. They helped with a crash, put out a structure fire, and extinguished a truck fire on Highway 60.
A semi-trailer and most of its load were destroyed in a fire on Monday, July 9, 2018, near Sibley.
According to Sibley Fire Chief Ken Huls, about 4:40 p.m., the Sibley Fire Department was called to the report of a vehicle fire on Highway 60 just south of the Minnesota state line, north of Sibley.
The chief says the fire department saw a semi-trailer and load of wood shavings on fire as they approached the scene. He says they used water to fight the fire.
Huls says no injuries were reported.
He says that the call was actually in the Bigelow, Minnesota Fire Department’s territory but it was in Iowa and Sibley arrived first.
Huls says as the truck was entering Iowa, a tire blew. He says remnants of the tire got under the trailer and the friction with the remaining tires caused the rubber to start on fire. He says the trucker was advised of the issue by another trucker on the CB radio, and that when he stopped to check it out, it burst into flames. Huls says the driver immediately disconnected the semi-tractor from the load and drove it to safety, so the tractor was not damaged.
Huls says Highway 60 needed to be closed due to visibility issues. He says the Iowa State Patrol and Osceola County Sheriff’s Office assisted with diverting traffic.
Chief Huls reports that the trailer and 90 percent of the load of wood shavings were totaled.
He says they used 5,000 gallons of water to fight the fire, and the approximately 11 firefighters from Sibley were on scene for about two hours.
Incidentally, Huls says this was the only time he can remember filling a drop tank right on Highway 60 for a vehicle fire.
The previous evening, the Sibley Fire Department was called to the report of a barn fire near Sibley.
According to Huls, they received the call about 10:10 p.m., to 1731 Oriole Avenue, just south of Sibley. He says the original call was of a barn fire, but they found out that the barn had burned and had caved in previously with no one calling the fire department. He says that fire was caused by embers from a trash fire near the barn, and he says they said that since the barn was dilapidated, they just let it burn. But they became concerned when an adjacent building with a tractor inside started on fire. He says the fire was mostly on the roof, and they extinguished it and the remains of the barn.
Huls says no injuries were reported to people, pets, or livestock.
He says they used about 1,000 gallons of water to fight that fire.