The Gamber & Community Fire Co. had a busy Saturday afternoon, responding to three incidents almost simultaneously — a woods fire, a barn fire that did a estimated $100,000 in damage, and a medical call.
“That’s usually the way it happens,” said Clay Myers, the company’s public information officer.
Gamber firefighters were alerted for a woods fire at 1:25 p.m. on Table Rock Drive in Finksburg, according to Myers, and two units responded. They reported a working woods fire with a large stack of firewood also burning and requested assistance from another engine/tanker.
Another unit was responding to the woods fire with additional personnel when the Carroll County 911 center simultaneously dispatched a barn fire in the vicinity at 1:51 p.m., causing that unit to divert to the 3100 block of Stetson Way in Finksburg.
Units from Gamber, Westminster, Reese, Reisterstown, Glyndon, and Upperco were alerted. Additional units from Carroll, Baltimore County and Howard County were requested to provide a tanker shuttle since there were no fire hydrants in this area. A water supply source was established on Old Kays Mill Road.
Gamber Engine/Tanker 133 cleared the woods fire and responded to the barn fire and, along with Reisterstown Engine 412, set up “attack lines” to the barn, according to Myers, as firefighters worked to contain the fire in the barn. There was no livestock in the barn which was being used mostly for storage.
They were challenged by the amount of stored items in and around the two-level barn. A large garage door had closed by itself early in the event and it had to be cut away. Access to the upper level was restricted, and its floor was unstable, so an exterior attack was established. Holes were cut in the sides of the barn to provide ventilation as well as to get water on the fire in the upper level, according to Myers, and the fire was declared under control at 2:55 p.m.
According to the notice of investigation by the Office of the State Fire Marshal, the fire was accidental and began outside, in front of the building, as a result of outdoor open burning.
No injuries were reported, according to the notice.
The fire originated in a burn barrel that quickly spread to nearby combustible materials, then spread to the building because of the wind conditions, according to the notice, which estimated that $100,000 in damage to the barn was caused by the blaze.
In addition to Gamber, Westminster, Reese, Hampstead, Winfield, Sykesville, New Windsor, Pleasant Valley, Carroll Fire Police and units from Baltimore County, and Howard County also responded.
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While firefighters were responding to both fire scenes, the Gamber station was also alerted for a medical call involving a patient assist. Gamber was responded and provided assistance. No hospital transport was necessary.