Firefighters Contain Nifong Park Fire

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COLUMBIA - Shortly before 3 p.m. Saturday, more than a dozen emergency units responded to a small fire in Nifong Park.  A patron at the park reported seeing smoke billowing out from a barn just south of the original site of the Maplewood Barn Theatre.  Firefighters from the Columbia Fire Department and the Boone County Fire Protection District arrived at the scene and found a small hay bale smoldering inside the barn.

Firefighters put the fire out in time avoiding structural damages.  Officials say the fire burned one hay bale and a piece of plywood.  The Columbia Fire Department estimates $100 in total damages.  Officials say the cause is likely due to spontaneous combustion where straw and grass in the hay decay and generate heat.