Centre Wellington battle first 2020 fire on New Year’s day

CENTRE WELLINGTON – A New Year’s Day fire call for a residential dryer turned out to be a corn dryer on fire.

Centre Wellington Fire Rescue Service deputy fire chief Jonathan Karn explained both the Elora and Fergus stations responded at about 11pm to the call on Wellington Road 7 between Elora and Ponsonby.

“I think there was maybe some miscommunication,” Karn explained. “Initially I think the dispatcher thought it was a dryer inside of a home.

“But it was updated rather quickly on our way and we knew we were going to a corn dryer fire, which is quite a bit different than a residential clothing dryer.”

Because the corn dryer was portable – and not a very large, permanent one – the Fergus station was released from the call soon after arrival.

“The farmer had been drying corn to put into his silo and there was a mechanical fault of some sort … and it just started the corn on fire inside the dryer,” Karn said.

The homeowner realized the dryer was smoking and not working correctly so he called 911 and stayed on scene to help.

“With his assistance we were able to unload the corn and put out the corn that was on fire when we unloaded it,” Karn said.

The crew was on scene for about two hours and Karn said there was no damage estimate.

“It was an older unit and the farmer was probably going to wait until daylight to see if he was going to be able to repair the unit or whether it would need replacing,” Karn said.