Leader of legislature loses farm machine to fire

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PINE PLAINS – Gregg Pulver, Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature, and one of the county’s last-remaining farmers is praising first responders after a Monday fire at his farm.  The blaze destroyed a 2005 International Harvester combine worth $100,000.

Pulver was operating the machine around lunchtime on Monday.  He was preparing to harvest standing corn that was earmarked for the local hunt club. As he was out in the field, the machine stopped working.  Lacking tools onboard, the veteran farmer climbed down and started walking to the shop for equipment to assess the problem.
“I got about 200 yards away, looked back and saw smoke,” said Pulver.  “I called Dutchess County 911 to report it and also called the Pine Plains Fire Chief directly to let him know the exact location of the fire.”

As the firefighters were getting dispatched, a New York State Trooper arrived, followed by the fire department and Dutchess County Deputy Sheriff Schultz.  Everyone on the scene went to work using foam to fight the fire and prevent a brush fire.  It took about half an hour to put the fire out.”

foam was used to fight the fire.
Pulver is not the first Chairman of the Legislature to suffer a loss of farm equipment to fire.  Years ago, Woody Klose lost several antique farm tractors when his northern Dutchess barn went up in flames.
Pulver, upset with the loss, plans to use a reserve piece of equipment to harvest the corn in the next few days.  He was comforted by the friends and neighbors that responded to the emergency.  “I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the Pine Plains Fire Department for responding in my time of need! It’s comforting to have familiar faces around you when things get out of control!”  He also expressed his thanks to the responding law enforcement from the NYSP and the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office.
The fire appears to have been caused by a bare electrical wire, possibly exposed by mice.