This 2013 John Deer 9360 series tractor was completely engulfed in flames within minutes of catching fire. The Chesterville Fire Station was able to contain the blaze and keep it from moving to the fields and homes alongside the road. Courtesy Photo

Chris Klein of Klein’s Agri Service in Winchester, Ontario had an interesting morning on Thursday, May 27.

As he was driving down County Rd. 43 past Chesterville his tractor, a 2013 John Deer 9360 series tractor caught fire.

“It was a bit tense,” he said.

His daughter, Lynnette Klein Boonschate, was driving behind him in a second tractor along with some farm equipment.

She alerted him that there was something happening to his tractor.

 “My daughter was following me down the highway with another tractor and piece of equipment and all of a sudden she told me that something was happening to my drive shaft,” said Klein.

“I turned around and saw the fire so I got off County Rd. 43 and turned on to Queen Street, and by then it was fully engulfed in flames.”

Getting the burning tractor off of the main highway that runs by Chesterville was the first thing Klein thought of doing. “That was the first thing that came to my mind,” he said.

“By the time I got on to Queen Street everything quit, I could not steer anymore,” he said.

“I had to exit through the back window. I got a bit of a burn on my right arm. That was all it was, and I am very fortunate. I was amazed at how quickly that escalated.”

The cost to replace the tractor would be at least a quarter of a million dollars and most likely would be more.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

“I don’t think the insurance will be enough, but no one got hurt, and it’s only nuts and bolts,” said Klein.

“It could have been ten times as bad.”

He added, “We have had great support from the community, and there are people who are willing to help, lend us a tractor. It really goes to show what a fantastic area we live in.”