Flames pour from a combine owned by Steve and Pam Ranfeld of rural Guernsey on Thursday, Oct. 14 east of Deep River. No one was hurt in the fire. The Deep River Fire Department was on the scene twice – once to put out the fire and a second time to put out a fire that had reignited in the combine hopper.
By J.O. Parker
Steve and Pam Ranfeld of rural Guernsey couldn’t be more thankful for the help of family and friends and the quick work of the Deep River Fire Department following a fire earlier this month that destroyed their combine.
Carson Haines, who works for the Ranfelds, was harvesting corn in a field on the southeast corner of 240th Street and the Diamond Trail Road three-miles east of Deep River on Thursday, Oct. 14, when the combine he was driving caught fire.
“He was going across the field and I could see it smoking,” said Steve. “He kept going and the flames kept getting bigger.”
Steve said he and his daughter, Maisey, who was helping with the harvest, took off across the field in the pickup trying to get Carson’s attention.
“The fire was in the back of the combine,” said Steve. “It was leaving a trail of burning cornstalks.”
When Carson saw what was happening, he pulled the combine into a grassy area and jumped out, carrying the fire extinguisher with him. While he and Steve worked to contain the fire, Maisey called 911. Steve said the neighbors across the fence to the east saw what was going on and they came running with fire extinguishers.
“They helped a lot,” said Steve.
The Deep River Fire Department showed up and got the fire put out.
“Even the mailman stopped to help,” added Steve. “He’s on the fire department.”
The fire department returned later in the evening to put out a fire that reignited in the combine hopper.
About as quick the fire happened, Steve said neighbors and friends offered their combines so he could finish his field work. Others offered leads on where the family could find another combine.
Pam, who was not in the field when the fire started, said people were calling and offering to help, asking if they could do anything.
By Friday morning, Steve was in Grundy Center signing the paperwork on another combine. The family took delivery on Friday evening and were back in the field in less than 48-hours following the fire.
“We are so grateful for their help,” said Maisey, who along with Carson helped locate another combine. “We were fortunate to find a combine so quickly.”
The Ranfelds thank the Deep River Fire Department for their quick response and for returning to the scene a second time.
“We’re so fortunate to have such a great local fire dept,” Pam said in a Facebook post. “Thank you to everyone who offered to help during and after the fire, tried to assist us in finding another combine and offered support in any way. We’re blessed to have family, friends and neighbors like you.”
The burnt combine owned by Steve and Pam Ranfeld of rural Guernsey sits in a field east of Deep River after it caught fire on Thursday, Oct. 14. Thanks to the help of friends and family, the Ranfelds were able to purchase another combine the next day and were back in the field harvesting within 48-hours.