HILLTOWN — Three people were taken to local hospitals and two treated at the scene of a Hilltown barn fire Thursday morning, as more than 100 firefighters battled in the heat to contain the 10:30 a.m. blaze.
More than a dozen horses were rescued.
The 15 or 16 horses taken from the barn in the 1500 block of Hilltown Pike were not injured, Hilltown Township Volunteer Fire Company Chief Jim Walter said.
Two of the injured persons who were taken to hospitals were workers at the farm, he said, who were hurt while rescuing the horses.
“We had one that was a head injury, was actually head-butted by probably the biggest horse here,” he said.
The other injured worker received burns on his arm, Walter said.
One firefighter was taken to a hospital, with another two treated at the scene for heat-related causes, he said.
The hot weather made it necessary to have more manpower to fight the fire, rotating the crews to allow for hydration, he said.
“It came out as a barn fire. Right after we went responding, police notified us that it was well-involved,” Walter said. “While en-route, we upgraded to a working fire assignment and added a tanker task force to establish water supply and then a second alarm was struck for manpower due to heat.”
He estimated about 100 firefighters were involved in fighting the fire.
“When we got here, it was fully involved,” Walter said.
The fire was under control in about an hour, he said.
The Bucks County Fire Marshal's office was on scene investigating the cause, he said.
After part of the building collapsed during the fire, machinery was brought in to start taking things apart and the larger streams of water that were initially used ended, he said.
“Now it's all a land-line operation, so it's very labor intensive and tedious at this time,” Walter said.
Assisting fire departments included Plumstead, Warwick, Midway, Chalfont, Towamencin, Harleysville, Point Pleasant, Plumsteadville, Dublin, Trumbauersville, Silverdale, Sellersville, Perkasie, Doylestown, Souderton, Telford, Fairmount Volunteer Fire Company of Lansdale, Hatfield, Horsham, Warrington and the Fire Department of Montgomery Township, he said.
Assisting ambulance crews included Central Bucks, Grand View, Chal-Brit, Volunteer Medical Service Corps of Lansdale and Plumstead Ambulance.
North Penn Goodwill was also at the scene.