Purchase photos

Fire damage could top $500,000





GORHAM -- The loss from a Monday fire that destroyed a pair of John Deere combines and the building they were stored in could reach as much as $500,000.

The fire was reported shortly before 6 p.m. Monday at a farmstead south of Gorham at a farm owned by Gorham Fire Chief Glen Blundon, according to Russell County Emergency Management Director Keith Haberer.

Haberer said the fire apparently started when a torch was being used on a hub on one of the combines in the shed.

"They got most everything out," he said of other equipment in the shed.

Also in the shed was at least one tractor, a swather, an all-terrain vehicle and a pickup.

Haberer said he didn't think a damage estimate had been made, but replacement costs for a combine might be as high as $200,000 apiece. Replacing the building might cost as much as $100,000, he said.

Tools and other equipment remaining in the shed will only add to the loss, Haberer said.

"I was just going on what used combines are worth," Haberer said of making an estimate.

No one was injured in the fire, which was brought under control in approximately 90 minutes.

In addition to the Gorham Fire Department, units from Milberger and Bunker Hill, Grant Township, the city of Russell and a tanker from Victoria Fire Department joined in fighting the fire.