A Shelby County grain bin fire destroyed an estimated 10,000 bushels of corn early this morning. Fire departments from Shelby and Avoca were called to the fire located east of Shelby (33804 400th Street) around 3:11 a.m.
Avoca Assistant Fire Chief, Keenan Allen, says flames were shooting out the bin upon arrival, and there was an elevator with several bins around the bin that was on fire.
“It’s kind of a unique bin because the dryer was on top of the bin so the fire was above three-fourths of the corn in the bin and that’s where the flames were coming from, over shooting the roof of the bin,” Allen says.
He says it became unsafe to walk on the catwalk and that’s when the Harlan Fire Department’s aerial truck was called in. Allen says there was a lot of damage to the bin and corn inside. “It’s hard to say what they will do with the corn. The bin is probably not salvageable, but I don’t know that for sure,” Allen says. “There were a few holes cut in the bin to get the burning corn out, and there was a pay loader that just moved the piles of corn away from the bin so we could keep cleaning it out.”
Allen estimated the bin could hold between 10 to 12,000 bushels and most of it was lost in the fire. Fire crews Minden and Defiance were also on scene during six hours it took to put out the fire. The cause of the fire remains unknown at this time.
(Reporting by Joel McCall, KNOD, Harlan)