Man spreads fire with hay wagon


HART TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) – A panicky man left a blazing trail behind him as he dashed around the countryside looking for a hose to put out his burning hay wagon, authorities said.

The man had trouble with the brakes on the hay-filled wagon being towed by his truck Thursday afternoon in Hart Township, about 190 miles northwest of Detroit.

The malfunctioning brakes apparently set the hay on fire, Hart fire Chief Ken Klotz said. The man was unable to unhook the trailer as the fire grew.

“The wind caught it, and I guess it singed the hat right off his head,” Klotz told the Ludington Daily News. “He panicked and just floor-boarded it to get to an open area.”

The man said he was looking for a house with a hose to put out the fire, but traveled about five miles through the rural countryside before stopping, Klotz said.

“The whole thing was on fire – the back of his pickup truck and the trailer,” Klotz said. “One guy saw him driving by and said he saw 30-foot flames coming out of the hay as he was going down the road.”

Falling hay started numerous fires along the 5-mile route. “We had piles all over, but the grass was green enough that it didn’t spread,” Klotz said. The fires were extinguished, and the man was not cited.