Fast-moving flames quickly consume barn in Berks

OLEY TWP., Pa. - A massive fire quickly destroyed a large barn in Berks County, leaving behind only a charred frame and a pair of silos.

Firefighters were dispatched shortly after 4 p.m. Monday to the 2000 block of Memorial Highway (Route 662) in Oley Township.

The barn was fully involved in flames by the time the first crews arrived on the scene.

"We had mutual aid, so we had probably six different companies coming in to assist," said Deputy Chief Mike Schaeffer, Oley Fire Company. "We saw how much fire there was. We called for additional units for tankers and pumpers."

Roughly 100 firefighters were needed to battle the inferno. Unfortunately, there wasn't much they could do to save the barn, so they focused their efforts on preventing the flames from spreading to nearby structures.

"This is a larger fire, but a barn fire in this area, you usually have pretty big buildings," said Schaeffer. "They don't build small barns around here."

JKay McCoy lives in the house next to the barn, separate from the property. He's the one who called 911.

"I heard a weird pop noise, and I couldn't understand where it was coming from," said McCoy. "I don't even own the place and that hurt me. I lived here for 14 years, and there's no words for that."

McCoy's home suffered no serious damage. There was reportedly nothing inside the barn of value, although a barn car burned just outside.

The case is now in the hands of a state police fire marshal.

Route 662 was closed between Blacksmith and Covered Bridge roads for nearly six hours.

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