Athens Review, Athens, Texas

Local News

September 26, 2013

Traffic snarl

Wreck leads to hay bale fire, blocks traffic on Hwy. 19 south

Athens — PALESTINE — Traffic on Texas 19 west through Montalba was diverted when possible — and just stuck when not — after a load of hay caught fire Wednesday afternoon.

Montalba, Tennessee Colony and Bradford volunteer fire departments responded to a call concerning the conflagration on the side of the highway around 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

Montalba Fire Chief Joel “Tiny” Parish said nearly 30 round bales of hay were consumed by the flames and the flatbed, gooseneck trailer they were being transported on also was destroyed.

Officials said the driver of the truck, from Davis Farms out of Athens, pulled over after noticing his load was ablaze. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

“Me and my wife were standing out in the garage when she noticed smoke coming from the road,” Montalba resident Nathan Nutter said. “We came around front and (the driver) was unhooking from the trailer, which was on fire. Naturally, we called 9-1-1. They were here in less than four minutes. I was very impressed. We couldn’t ask for better fire departments out here.”

Firefighters contained the blaze and remained at the scene until nearly 5 p.m., Wednesday, Parish said, making sure the fire didn’t spread to adjacent fields since there was an intermittent, but stiff wind blowing at the time of the fire.

“It’s still extremely dry and we don’t want this one to start another one,” Parish said. “Anyone who wants to burn right now needs to be extra careful.”

Parish added hay bales are especially tricky to put out, once they ignite.

“They’re usually rolled up so tight, we basically have to unroll the whole thing to make sure it goes completely out,” he said.

Smaller vehicles traveling north Texas 19 were diverted around the scene via a small county road that circles back to the highway on Wednesday afternoon. Responders directed all larger vehicles — including another truck hauling several round bales of hay — and other drivers traveling south past the scene of the fire a few at a time via the clear, northbound lane. The roadway was reported clear by 4:45 p.m., Wednesday.

Anderson County constables, sheriff’s deputies, Texas Department of Transportation workers, Department of Public Safety troopers and the Red Cross also responded to the incident.

Text Only
Local News
  • ADR logo.tif Third elementary school to replace Athens Intermediate School

    The Athens Independent School District school board approved campus realignment Monday that will go into effect for the 2015-16 school year.
    While full details of the plan are still being discussed, the district unanimously approved adding a third elementary school, while doing away with the intermediate level.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0128.JPG Laying Splash Pad bricks

    Workmen from Rosenberg’s Outdoor Designs of Athens are shown installing bricks purchased by individuals, businesses and other organizations at the Kiwanis Park Splash Pad.  Shown, left to right, are: Nick Rosenberg, owner of the company; Jonathan Perez and Gutierrez Concepcion.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Burton’s severance approved

    The Athens City Council on Monday narrowly approved a budget amendment from reserves, to fund a severance package for City Administrator Pam Burton who is retiring at the end of 2014.
    Mayor Jerry Don Vaught and council members Monte Montgomery and Tres Winn entered yes votes, while Joe Whatley and Charles Elliott opposed the adjustment.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Sanders readies proposed budget

    Henderson County Judge Richard Sanders has his proposed budget ready for submission, with the numbers reflecting revenues slightly above last year.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Academically-weighted courses discussed at CRISD meeting

    A concern about how elective courses in the Cross Roads Independent School District are academically-weighted was discussed at Monday night's school board meeting to determine a student's class rank.
    The board of trustees decided to let the issue extend to a further meeting to work on rewording the change in the student handbook.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • DSC_0127.JPG McDonald’s coming to Mabank

    The corner of North First Street and North Third Street in Mabank is about to look a lot different as a construction crew broke ground Monday.
    A formal ceremonial groundbreaking will be held within the next week to welcome McDonald's to the location just off of Highway 175.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Funeral held for 15-year-old drowned Eustace student

    Funeral services were held on Sunday for a 15-year-old Eustace student who drowned Thursday evening after diving into Cedar Creek Lake.
    The Henderson County Sheriff’s Office investigated the drowning. According to reports, a medical emergency call came to 9-1-1 shortly after 5 p.m. from Timber Bay in the Payne Springs area.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 PSCA open house.jpg PSCA seeks new student enrollment

    “Striving to make a difference in each child for eternity,” reads the motto of one local private school seeking new enrollment.
    Payne Springs Christian Academy is looking to enroll new students for the 2014-2015 school year.
    “We are in need of some kids this year,” said Amanda Beets, a mother of one of the school's current students.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADR logo.tif Lightfoot-Miller Cemetery to dedicate historical marker

    The Texas Historical Commission, Henderson County Historical Commission and descendants of those who are buried in the Lightfoot-Miller Cemetery invite the public to the dedication of a historical marker at the property.
    The observance is set for 10 a.m. on Aug. 2.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-29 HCHS.jpg ‘Party for the Paws’ event great success

    The Henderson County Humane Society in Athens as well as  Beckham are continuing to celebrate results of the Party For The Paws fundraiser.  Beckham is a dog that was recently adopted from the HCHS.
    HCHS Treasurer Ellen Barton commends those who were involved in the event’s planning and execution. 

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo