Community comes together to help battle hay fire near Versailles

By Jim Comer - For the Sidney Daily News

VERSAILLES — A hay trailer being pulled behind a truck caught fire and was flagged down by passing motorists but not before setting multiple fires in its path.

At approximately 2:50 p.m. Friday, Versailles Fire and Rescue was dispatched to the 1100 block area of state Route 47 in reference to a truck hauling a trailer full of hay on fire.

The truck, a 2015 Ford F-150 King Ranch, was southbound on state Route 47 when its load of hay was sparked by a damaged trailer it was loaded on and caught fire. The driver of the truck, Jeff Trace, of Weatherford, Texas, was unaware of his load being on fire until being flagged down by passing motorists.

By the time the vehicle was able to come to a stop in front of 11454 State Route 47, it had sparked multiple fires in the ditches behind it. Versailles Fire promptly requested mutual aid from Russia and Osgood fire departments to help control the spread of the blaze.

“I just bought this trailer,” Trace said. “I was on my way to have it repaired before heading back home to Texas. I needed this load for my livestock. With the weather down home, it’s hard to come by, and it was either buy it up here or sell my livestock. Now it’s all a total loss.”

State Route 47 was shut down for nearly three hours while fire crews battled the fire.

Owners of the property located at 11454 State Route 47, Roger and Sandy Grilliot, allowed the fire crews to pull the still burning trailer from the roadway onto an open area of their property. The trailer then was unloaded, allowing the hay to be spread out and foam applied to more easily extinguish the fire.

Ohio Department of Transportation officials were called to the scene to assess the resulting damage to the roadway from the fire.

At this time the fire is still under investigation.

By Jim Comer

For the Sidney Daily News