2011-11-10 / Local & State

Firefighters Battle Massive Hay Blaze

PALMYRA, Pa. (AP) – Firefighters in central Pennsylvania battled to contain a massive barn fire that ignited 3,000 tons of hay.

Grantville Volunteer Fire Company Chief Saul Schmolitz says the fivealarm blaze began after midnight Friday in East Hanover Township. It's under investigation, but is believed to be accidental.

Schmolitz says two barns, each about 60-by-320- feet, were filled to the top with hay. Wet hay can build up enough heat to spontaneously combust when stacked in large quantities.

Firefighters contained the flames and kept them from spreading to a third barn. But because the blaze is roughly the size of a football field, firefighters say it could be days before it burns itself out.

Damage is expected to reach $500,000.

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