Hereford and Seis-holtzville fire companies were dispatched around 12:05 Wednesday afternoon to a fire in a pole building at 16 Suisse Haus Lane in Hereford Township.
According to Hereford Chief Josh Borowski, the volunteers quickly arrived and found “flames coming through the roof of the building.” Smoke could be seen billowing in the sky more than five miles away from the 1,200-sq.-ft., one-story, wood frame structure.
High winds quickly spread the flames throughout the building, located in a heavily wooded area. At least 70 firefighters, fire police and emergency medical service personnel responded to the fire.
Firefighters laid large diameter hose about 500 feet down Suisse Haus Lane from Stein Road to fight the fire and used large volume fire department tank trucks to shuttle water to the scene from a fill site at a hydrant on Star Road in Hereford.
According to Borowski, the fire was under control around 1 p.m. He expected that some of the crews would be on the scene until about 5 p.m.
Borowski estimated the damage to the building and contents to be “at least $500,000.” The building housed many antiques including cars and old books. The property is owned by Joseph Perricone. The building and contents were reported to be insured.
Borowski said that the owner was reported to be working in the building when he smelled smoke and saw flames coming from the area of the oil burner. The fire is not deemed to be suspicious.
Companies dispatched to assist included Upper Milford Western District, East Greenville, Pennsburg, Red Hill, Eastern Berks, Topton, Alburtis, Keystone of Boyertown, Milford Township Bucks County and Liberty of New Berlinville .
EMS units from Bally and Macungie were also dispatched to the scene.
Fire units from Gilbertsville were on standby in Hereford. Units from Quakertown and Perkasie fire companies were on standby in Pennsburg and a unit from Harleysville Fire Company was on standby in Red Hill.