SYCAMORE – A mechanical failure caused a tractor traveling on Plank Road to catch fire Thursday afternoon, creating a plume of smoke that could be seen for miles.
At about 1 p.m., Richard Westlake, a farmer from rural Sycamore, was pulling a trailer filled with corn with his John Deere tractor when he heard a loud banging noise and saw smoke, said Sycamore Assistant Fire Chief Art Zern.
After Westlake stopped and exited the tractor, the gas tank ruptured and the tractor was soon engulfed in flames. Zern said he saw the smoke from the scene of a car accident at Annie Glidden Road and Route 64.
Nobody was injured in the blaze.
DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded about 1:15 p.m. and closed down a section of Plank Road near Gerry Lane for about an hour while Sycamore firefighters put the fire out, said Gary Dumdie, DeKalb County Sheriff Chief Deputy.
Zern said the fire might have been caused by a mechanical failure such as a fuel leak.
He said the tractor was totally destroyed, with up to $10,000 in damage.