NORTH ADAMS — A city firefighter sustained a broken ankle while battling blazing hay bales.

Fireman Raymond King was hurt on Friday while trying to extinguish flames that ultimately consumed about 30 large bales of rolled hay at 579 Daniels Road. The fire was reported at about 9:17 p.m., said city fire Director Stephen Meranti.

"The guys did a great job with this. They worked their butts off," Meranti said. "It was close quarters with the hay, and the house was pretty close and then there was a shed as well; it was tight."

Some siding on the rear of the house owned by William McNiece melted during the fire but the house was saved, Meranti said.

McNiece was baling hay on the property when he noticed that bales were igniting and burning. McNiece was trying to put the fire out when firefighters arrived, Meranti said.

The cause of the fire is undetermined. Meranti said the blaze began as a "deep-seated fire in the bales," meaning that the hay burned from the inside out.

Firefighters tore the large bales apart, spreading the hay so that they could douse the fire source. There are no hydrants at that address so the Clarksburg Volunteer and the Stamford, Vt., Volunteer fire departments provided tanker trucks and shuttled back and forth collecting water to keep supplies at the fire scene, Meranti said.


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All off-duty city firefighters were called to work, he said. Some firefighters provided on-scene support while others remained at the city fire station providing coverage.

Most firefighters left the scene at about midnight but four firefighters remained at the residence to maintain an overnight fire watch. There were several flare-ups that needed extinguishing, Meranti said.

McNiece was advised to spread all the hay out as much as possible and keep it away from any structures. Meranti said McNiece was engaged in spreading the hay during the day on Saturday.

The North Adams Ambulance Service also responded to the scene.