BREAKING NEWS

Personnel from the Houston Rural Fire Department responded at about 10 p.m. Wednesday to a fire that torched a tractor on Barnes Road west of Houston.

Houston Rural Chief Don Gaston said the blaze appeared to have started with an electrical short in a battery in a diesel tractor parked inside a metal building. The building also housed two other tractors, as well as a hay baler and other tools and machinery.

Firefighter Robbie Smith, who responded to the scene, said the property owner, Mark Lybyer, drove one of the other tractors out of the building and used it to tow the burning tractor outside, which led to the building and other equipment inside it being saved.

“He really did himself a big favor by doing what he did,” Gaston said. “He had a lot to lose.”

Smith said flames rising from the burning tractor scorched some wooden beams and metal roofing, but damage wasn’t as bad as it might have been had action not been taken as quickly as it was. Damage to the burned tractor was limited to its back end, Smith said, and its engine and front loader were probably still operable.

Gaston said three trucks and seven personnel responded.

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