A fire this afternoon destroyed a combine in a field south of Coal Valley. No one was injured and firefighters prevented the fire from spreading to a nearby field full of dry corn.
The fire happened some time after noon at 14315 104th St., Coal Valley, the men who were working with the combine said.
Gene Hamerlinck, of Milan, said he stopped driving the combine about 12:10 p.m. and he and the others left for lunch. At the time, he noticed nothing wrong.
His son, Eric Hamerlinck said that workers on a nearby silo saw the vehicle on fire a short time later and notified them.
The burned out hulk of the green combine was sitting in a soybean field that was full of dry plant material left behind by harvesters. A large patch of that had burned away around the combine but the patch stopped short of the corn field, which was some 40 yards from the vehicle.
Tim Anderson, who was with the Hamerlincks, credited the firefighters for keeping the situation from being worse than it was.
"We were real lucky," he said.
No one was hurt by the fire or while fighting it. Orion Fire Protection District Chief Dan Myers said. The cause was still under investigation.
He said the combine was totaled by the fire, and that the initial estimate on the loss was about $150,000.
The fire was just one of several in fields the Orion firefighters and their colleagues from neighboring protection districts have fought today, he said.
The Coal Valley and Sherrard fire protection districts also came to fight the combine fire, he said.