A fire erupted in a haystack during the pre-dawn hours of Sept. 29, at the Howard Dee Nelson farm, on the corner of 4800 South and 800 East.

Nelson was notified about the blaze at 1:38 when Hal Smith knocked on his door. Smith had seen the fire as he drove from Franklin to the Nelson farm to pick up milk.

Firefighters and the Nelsons were able to put out the blaze and move enough hay to keep losses to a minimum, said Franklin County Fire Marshall Matt Gleed.

Nelson estimates that he lost about a dozen 3/4 ton bales, but couldn't put his finger on the cause.

"That was really something," said Nelson, because the blaze started at the top of the stack on the outside of a bale. "We thought it was wet hay," but where it started doesn't support that theory. Wet hay begins smoldering inside of a bale.

Nelson wondered if lightening was the cause.

The blaze brought to to mind a fire that destroyed his entire hay stack 20 years ago.

"When he (Smith) told us, it made us sick," he said. "So we are just really grateful."

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