A barn along Swamp Creek Road collapsed after it caught fire early Monday afternoon.
Around noon, security personnel from nearby Global Advanced Metals called 911, said Timothy Knapp, the company’s global safety, health and environmental manager.
“Security saw flames and called,” Knapp said. “We were told a few other people saw it and called it in, too.”
Global Advanced Metals owns the property the barn is on, located midway between County Line and Schlegel roads on Swamp Creek Road, and leases it to a local farmer, Knapp said. The farmer uses it only to store hay.
When firefighters arrived, crews saw flames “through the roof,” said Gilbertsville Fire and Rescue Company’s Chief Rick Smith.
The Western Montgomery County Tanker Strike Force was called in to help fight the flames along with approximately a dozen fire companies and departments.
Smith said the fire was under control within 40 minutes, but the barn collapsed by then due to the heavy flames.
Built into the side of the hill, Smith said it appeared to be two different segments. The segment to the east side completely collapsed while a small portion of the western side of the barn remained standing, though smoldering.
Crews continued dumping water on the smoldering debris well after the fire was out and the investigation by both local and state police fire marshals began.
No injuries were reported in the blaze.
“That house has been vacant for some time,” Smith said of the closest structure.
Smith and Knapp said no animals were in the vicinity, either.
It was unclear how full the barn was when it caught fire.
“We’re just in the beginning of hay season,” Knapp said. “We don’t know how far along he was.”
The farmer uses at least some of the hay he collects to feed his cows at a farm several miles away, according to Knapp. No tools or equipment were in the barn, he said.
The cause of the fire was undetermined Monday afternoon, but investigators remained on the scene.
Assisting the Gilbertsville Fire and Rescue Company were the New Hanover, Sassamansville, Ringing Hill, Perkiomen, Pennsburg, Liberty (out of New Berlinville), Monocacy and West End fire companies, as well as the Boyertown Fire Department.
Gilbertsville Area Community Ambulance and the Douglass (Mont.) Township Police also responded.