Several large bales of hay and stalks were lost in a storage hoop building fire Sunday afternoon south of Fairbury.
Firefighters were called to the structure at Zehr Acres farm around 2 p.m. and were on the scene for several hours. The official cause of the fire is under investigation and no injuries were reported. The building is located on the edge of the property, which likely kept the fire from spreading elsewhere.
“The wind was working in our favor,” said Assistant Fairbury Fire Chief Josh Hoselton.
Responding departments came from Forrest-Strawn, Pontiac, Cropsey, Chenoa, Colfax, Saunemin, Chatsworth, Gridley, Lexington and Anchor. SELCAS ambulance was also on site.
“They lost a lot of hay,” explained Fire Chief Martin Steidinger.
Stedinger estimates firefighters used around 180,000 gallons of water to fight the fire. Several end loaders were brought in to load up the hay and stalks for dumping in the field.
Fairbury’s All American Wash, which is located on the south end of town at the corner of Seventh and Oak streets, was forced to temporarily close its automatic bay because of the water needed to fight the fire. A few hours later, a post on the business Facebook page noted the automatic bay was back open.
Fire trucks were spotted getting water from a hydrant near Fairbury Fastener on the east end of town and local residents reported smelling smoke from miles away.