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Saturday, July 30, 2016

Shop burns as tractor blazes

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bedford County firefighters knock down smoke after the metal building housing Bob's Used Tractors, U.S. 41A North, burned late Monday morning when a tractor caught fire.
(T-G Photo by David Melson) [Order this photo]
An antique tractor being prepared for display at the Bedford County Fair burst into flames late Monday morning, destroying a building and contents and leaving one man slightly injured.

"It just exploded," said Wayne O'Neal, who owns and was working on the H Farmall tractor at Bob's Used Tractors, U.S. 41A North. "The tractor just caught on fire. I was trying to get it started and it backfired."

Wayne O'Neal, right, explains how the fire at Bob's Used Tractors broke out to Dean Pugh, left, and building owner Bob Castile.
(T-G Photo by David Melson)
O'Neal displayed several superficial burns on his arms. They were not severe enough to require immediate medical treatment.

"I've just got a few burns. I'll be all right," O'Neal said.

"Wayne was working on an H Farmall under the shed," Bob Castile, owner of the property and business, said. "He was getting it ready for the show (at the fair). It backfired. It sounded awful."

Castile said he was away from the building when the tractor flared up shortly after 11 a.m.

"All my tools and welders...my complete shop was lost. No farm tractors were in there. I was lucky. I just pulled my farm tractor out of there."

Heavy flames -- and smoke visible from downtown Shelbyville -- as firefighters from the Bedford County Fire Department's Shelbyville and Unionville stations arrived led to a call for help from neighboring departments.

Bedford County firefighters got the fire under control quickly and no flames were visible by the time Chapel Hill firefighters reached the scene.

"I'm just glad they didn't let it get to my house," Castile said.

Three tractors -- the H Farmall, a M Farmall and an A Farmall -- were lost, O'Neal said.

"The tractor that caught fire could be fixed but it would have to have a lot of work," according to O'Neal.

Farmall H series tractors were built from 1939-1953, M series from 1939-1954 and A series from 1939-1947, according to the tractor-data.com website.

Bob Castile, left, and Wayne O'Neal discuss the fire at Bob's Used Tractors.
(T-G Photo by David Melson) [Order this photo]