Corn picker catches fire at Knox Farm, destroying nearly eight acres

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 23, 2020

By Shavonne Potts

CLEVELAND — A corn picker malfunction is being blamed for a fire that burned more than five acres at a well-known Cleveland farm.

The owner of Knox Farms called 911 on Monday around 3 p.m. to report the fire that occurred in the 900 block of Knox Road.

The New Ida Uni-Harvester had a bearing failure, said Rowan County Fire Investigator Darrell Nichols.

He said when the bearing goes bad, it will generate heat. Weather, including dry air and low humidity, can make for conditions that can increase chances of a fire.

He said the dust build-up on the machine can also contribute to igniting a fire. Between five to eight acres were burned.

Nichols said Cleveland Community Volunteer Fire Department was the primary fire agency with additional response from West Rowan Volunteer and Wayside Volunteer fire departments.