Losses and Lessons: Ready, hay … barn fire!

VEHICLE: 1949 Ford F-1 pickup truck

WHAT WENT WRONG: We recently heard about a barn fire that escalated so quickly that there was no stopping it – and, believe it or not, things got worse. The owner of a 1949 Ford F-1 pickup truck walked to the barn where he was storing his ride, started up the truck and let it idle for a few minutes while he returned to the house. When he went back outside, the barn – which also contained 30 bales of hay – was engulfed in flames.

DAMAGE/LOSS: The barn and its contents were completely destroyed. Fire officials concluded that the F-1 backfired – perhaps because a small animal had built a nest in the exhaust pipe – and the spark ignited the hay. The truck owner had purchased the newly restored pickup for $40,000 only three months prior and, sadly, he hadn’t insured it yet.

LESSON: Several lessons can be learned from this sad tale. If your vehicle has been sitting for a significant length of time, take a moment to check the exhaust pipes and peek under the hood for any sign that animals have taken up residence. Need to step away from your idling car or truck? Pull it outside or, at the very least, make sure the door of the building is open and nothing flammable is close by. And insure your vehicle as soon as you buy it. It’s a critical step to protect yourself against an accident. Even the most cautious owners aren’t immune to mishaps.

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