By Connor Lynch
ADELAIDE-METCALFE — A hog and cash crop farm family learned the hard way last month how quickly things can go wrong.
Farmer Lyle Hendrikx had been in the shop on the farm in Adelaide-Metcalfe, west of London, on April 17. He’d been doing some welding work, and popped into the house for coffee. Ten minutes later, he noticed smoke coming from the shop. Flames were already building inside. He hustled to the tractor hooked up to a planter but that was all he managed to retrieve from the shop.
The 60-something Hendrikx was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. He was released after a few hours once the carbon monoxide levels in his blood came down, said his wife Anne-Marie.
The fire completely destroyed the drive shed and a combine inside, as well as a seed drill, and a few bags of soybeans, she said.
There was a total loss of an estimated $500,000. Hendrikx said the family is having ongoing discussions with their insurance company to get everything sorted.
Fire Chief Arend Noordhof of the Adelaide-Metcalfe fire department said that the focus when firefighters arrived was on containing the fire, since the blaze was fully engulfing the drive shed and the farmhouse isn’t far from it. A nearby fuel tank was also a priority. Neither were damaged.
Lyle Hendrikx farms with his son, Dan, who lives just down the road. Planting season will go on, Hendrikx said. The corn planter was saved, though they’ll have to rent a seed drill. They plant to rebuild the workshop in the drive shed and replace the combine.