Watch CBS News

Tractor That Backfired May Be To Blame For Barn Fire In Baltimore County, Officials Say

MARYLAND LINE, Md. (WJZ) -- A tractor that backfired Tuesday afternoon in Maryland Line may be to blame for a large barn fire, according to the Baltimore County Fire Department.

Chopper 13 was over the scene of the fire along the 3500 block of Baker School House Road.

"We looked up and it was big billowing smoke, and I said, 'Oh my God. I hope it's not my home,'" neighbor Anthony Atkins told WJZ.

Freeland barn fire

When Baltimore County Fire Department crews arrived on the scene, they found the barn engulfed in flames.

According to the Baltimore County Fire Department, the owner went to start his tractor and it backfired. Sparks hit the hay which caused the fire.

"After mowing the lawn he tried to put the tractor back in the barn. The tractor backfired and caught a bail of hay on fire and the fire rapidly grew out of control," Nicholas Tyson, a Baltimore County Fire Department Spokesperson, said.

The barn belonged to Paul Hockel.

"I want to thank all the responders," Hockel said. "They've been great, and all the neighbors who helped."

Neighbors, like Atkins, ran over to help Hockel contain the fire.

"I just kept running back and down, just spraying the grass in front of it, just trying to keep it away until the fire department got there," Atkins said.

Moments later, the roof on the barn collapsed.

"It just sort of imploded it, just gave in," Atkins said. "It was pretty wild."

It happened all before firefighters even arrived.

"The roof had already collapsed when we got here," Tyson said.

Dozens of firefighters worked to contain and put out the fire late into Tuesday night. Luckily, no animals or people were hurt.

"Luckily no one was hurt, no animals were lost, it's just stuff and we'll recover that," Hockel said.

The Baltimore County Fire Department received help from the York County and Carroll County fire departments.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.