The tractor of a tractor-trailer loaded with 17 tons of grain was destroyed when it erupted in flames about 9 a.m. yesterday on Bachman Valley Road near Westminster. The tractor was parked under an intake chute leading to five large silos.
A visitor to the area suffered injuries to his right hand when he jumped some 12 feet from the top of the trailer to the ground to escape the flames after trying to put the fire out with a garden hose.
Carl Bell, 56, a friend of the operator of Bachman Valley Farms, was visiting the farm when the fire was discovered by workers in a nearby field.
Mr. Bell grabbed a hose and ran to the truck, climbed to the top of the trailer and, in an attempt to prevent the fire from spreading to the grain and the silos, began spraying water on a tarpaulin that was covering the grain.
Mr. Bell soon was forced to jump from the trailer to escape the flames, injuring his hand as he did. He was treated at the Carroll County General Hospital and released.
The truck had been parked at the farm since Wednesday night and the engine was not running when the fire was discovered, a farm official said.
A deputy state fire marshal was sent to the scene to investigate the origin of the blaze.
Engines from Westminster and Pleasant Valley were dispatched the truck fire. The units were out for 93 minutes.