Fire destroys Berks barn and home

Several fire companies help battle the blaze

Police seek tips in raging fire that destroyed barn, home

UPPER TULPEHOCKEN TWP., Pa. - A fire destroyed a barn and a home in northern Berks County early Friday morning. Now, investigators are searching for answers.

"I came out and everything was orange. When you looked back, you could see flames way over the top of the chicken houses. They were really high," said Steve Yost, a neighbor.

Neighbors stood in shock and awe as the raging fire consumed both a home and barn in the 100 block of Tulley Drive in Upper Tulpehocken Township at 2 a.m. Friday.

Fire crews rushed to the scene after a passerby saw an orange glow close to three miles away on Route 183.

"To see two buildings fully involved, we knew we needed more help and more water," said Deputy Chief Jeremy Bentz, Strausstown Fire Company.

Bentz immediately rang for a second alarm, bringing in six fire companies and close to 100 firefighters to fight the blaze. In his 20 years as a firefighter, he said he has never seen anything like it.

"We have always been to barn fires. They are somewhat common in this area and we have been to house fires. We have never been to two, on the same property, at the same time. That was certainly unique to make sure we had enough equipment and guys to handle both scenes," said Bentz.

The owner of the property, Lamar Lehman, said he is just grateful no one was home at the time.

"I do not feel good about it, but I feel it could be a lot worse. Nobody was hurt," Lehman said.

No one was injured.

State police ask anyone with information that can help their investigation to call the Reading barracks at 610-378-4011 or Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913.

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Allentown, PA 18102


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