WEST PIKELAND -- A historic barn caught fire late Sunday night after a lightning strike, according to fire officials.
Firefighters were dispatched at 9:22 p.m. to a property on Devyn Drive, according to Lionville Fire Chief Michael Holmes. The fire was under control within an hour, and there were no injuries, Holmes said.
Devyn Drive is in the Fairfields development off Route 113. The two-story barn was built in the early 1800s as part of the original Fairfield Farm, according to owners Doug and Laura Heald.
Two homes share the property with the barn. Doug Heald said he was doing work in the barn when he heard the lightning strike and immediately called 911.
"There was a panic to save the two houses," Doug Heald said.
Holmes said firefighters contained the fire to the barn, and the two homes were undamaged. The barn, however, was a total loss, he said.
"The hard work of the (firefighters) was able to sustain the houses from damage," Holmes said.
Later Monday morning, young children living in the neighborhood looked at the ruined barn from across the street. Passing motorists likewise slowed down to see the damage.
Neighbor Joseph Hasiak said he was sitting in his backyard gazebo facing the barn when he heard an extremely loud bolt of lightning toward the end of the storm.
"I looked over and the sky was crimson," Hasiak said.
He said he then heard his neighbors scream to each to move their cars.
Hasiak has lived in the development for 20 years and said the barn was once used to hold construction materials for the new houses.
"The barn itself was beautiful," he said.
Laura Heald said she and her husband refurbished the barn after they moved into the development 16 years ago.
"It's a piece of history," she said. "The neighborhood was built around it."
Laura Heald said she was grateful of the work done by
the fire companies.
"It was a nightmare, but everyone was so helpful," she said.
Lionville Fire Company was assisted by Kimberton, West Whiteland and East Whiteland fire companies. Uwchlan Ambulance Corps and the Downingtown Medics also helped with the fire, Holmes said.
Sunday night's storm also brought power outages throughout the county as PECO fielded reports of heavy lightning, wind and tree damage, according to PECO spokesman Cameron Kline.