Gamber & Community Fire Co. units and neighboring fire companies were alerted for a barn fire at 1:14 pm on Wednesday, April 17. Responding units could see heavy black smoke from a distance and a tanker task force was immediately requested. The barn is situated on a large farm located between Gamber Road (Rt. 91) and Deer Park Road. It is primarily a wholesale nursery and garden center.
Arriving units found a one story barn/shed structure fully involved. It was attached to a large, two story barn which had one connecting wall in flames and some fire inside and running up along the roof peak. Firefighters from Gamber and Sykesville quickly attacked the fire in both the large and small barns.
The fire was knocked down and the large barn was saved. The smaller structure was eventually a total loss and took the efforts of many firefighters and apparatus to control. Additionally, there was a large sea container to the rear of the small barn that was involved in fire and had to be opened. Firefighters applied foam to the container with limited success until it was opened. The owners of the farm used a track hoe to assist in dismantling that part of the structure to get access to the container.
Water was supplied by numerous tankers as well as from ponds on the property since this area has no public water supply or hydrants. A folding tank was also utilized for water supply.
Family members managed to get livestock out of the barn and into the pasture in time. Some small vehicles were also saved. There were no injuries to civilians or firefighters.
Deputies from the Office of the State Fire Marshal are investigating. Engine 82 from the Bethany fire station in Howard County filled in the Gamber station during this incident.