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Posted on Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 12:26 p.m.

Morning car fire causes hour-long back up on northbound US-23

By Kyle Feldscher

This story has been changed to reflect it was northbound US-23, not southbound as originally reported.

Flames covered a flatbed truck appearing to contain bales of hay on southbound US-23 Tuesday morning, shutting down one lane and causing traffic to stop for nearly an hour.


Flames burn through a flatbed truck on northbound US 23 Tuesday morning.

Courtesy of Angel Offredi

Angel Offredi was stuck about 10 cars behind the burning truck at 7:45 a.m. Tuesday morning on northbound US-23, just north of Silver Lake Road. Offredi said approximately three fire trucks responded and police vehicles, but she didn’t see any ambulances.

“It must have just happened right before I arrived,” Offredi said. “When I was going by slowly after they opened the road, it looked like a flatbed full of hay.”

Green Oak Township police and fire personnel were not immediately able to speak to about the fire Tuesday morning. Michigan State Police directed questions about the incident to Green Oak Township.

It’s unknown what caused the fire and if anyone was injured in the blaze.

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Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 9:34 p.m.

I also drove by thi this morning. it was not HAY as everyone likes to say. The color of the pile of stuff that was being put out was yellow, and that means STRAW. Earlier this afternoon I was going southbound on US23 and seen what was left. a very large pile of straw. Eitherway this was a mess and the looks of the median of the freeway, it is still a mess.


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 8:14 p.m.

Update: Since it was a pipeline company truck, it was probably straw not hay. And we ALL know there is some serious anger in the minds of the pipeline company haters because of the property easement protests. Cause likely determined...


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 8:06 p.m.

I've had kids attempting to do this to me from passing cars when delivering hay to Franklin/Southfield via I-696. They toss butts out the window deliberately to try to catch the load on fire. You have to watch for them and can tell what they are up to right away. Since the cell phone era began, I would have guessed this is no longer a concern. An exhaust spark or a tire rub would not be a likely cause either. Just not enough initial temperature and the traveling wind is too powerful. Been there. The 'heat' in bales from baling damp hay is gone long before this time of year. I'd bet it was a butt-head. With the current price of hay ($8 - $12 per bale), this was a serious loss to a horse owner (no food) and farmer (no income and no trailer).


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

I drove by this scene. It wasn't a flatbed, it was a trailer. When I drove by the pickup was unhooked from the trailer and there was one heck of a fire going. Luckily I saw the backup and was able to jump off at Silver Lake, because I didn't realize there was going to be such a delay!


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 5:58 p.m.

The hay may have been too wet when it was baled. As a result, it was starting to "compost," a process that gives off heat and raises the internal temperature of the bale. If it gets hot enough, it will burst into flame. This process is what usually causes barn fires where hay is stored. In this case, the increased flow of air as the truck travelled the roadway probably "fanned the incipient flame" and a fire resulted.


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 8:42 p.m.

I've seen this happen once before.....spontaneous combustion plus oxygen.


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 8:23 p.m.

Is poohbah making this up?


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 6:43 p.m.

tire fire &...


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

That kinda thing only happens in the dead of summer. It takes the summer heat in ADDITION to the compost heat and methane to get a barn fire. It also takes a LARGE amounts of hay....much more than the amount that would be found on the bed of a truck.


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 6:13 p.m.

"God Made A Farmer" should be updated to include the dangers of spontaneously combusting hay.


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 5:56 p.m.

Please tell me this wasn't started by a discarded cigarette butt flicked through the rear facing driver's cab window.