Dozens of fire departments from throughout McHenry County and surrounding counties responded to a fully engulfed barn fire that left the building a total loss in Crystal Lake Sunday.
The Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department responded around 12:15 p.m. Sunday to the area of Ackman Road and Huntley Road in Crystal Lake for a report of a structure fire.
Firefighters arrived and reported a pole barn that was fully engulfed in flames on the northwest corner of the intersection in the 8600 block of Huntley Road.
Numerous people throughout McHenry County reported seeing a large column of smoke billowing into the sky from the fire.
The Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) was activated to the box alarm level to bring additional resources to the scene.
The property is located in an area that does not have fire hydrants nearby.
Fire department tender trucks carrying water were called to the scene.
The alarm was eventually upgraded to the fourth alarm level before an interdivisional request was made for fire departments from Lake County.
More than two dozen fire departments, including those in McHenry, Cook, Lake and Kane counties, responded to the alarm.
One of the property owners told Lake and McHenry County Scanner they are unsure how the fire started.
“We were in the front room and the sun suddenly disappeared like someone flipped a light switch. I looked out the window and it was thick smoke and flames were already visible as high as the roof,” the woman said.
She and her husband ran outside and noticed a vehicle belonging to someone they know on the property.
Thinking the friend was inside the barn, the woman’s husband kicked down the door to the barn but the structure was already engulfed in flames.
It was quickly learned the man was fishing and not in the barn.
Firefighters kept the fire from crossing the driveway and extending to the residents’ home.
“It was not an easy fire to control with flames hitting the top of our very old trees and no sky visible because of the smoke but they kept it to one building,” the woman said.
No firefighters or civilians were injured in the blaze, according to Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department Battalion Chief Rick Kaiser.
Kaiser said a hazardous materials team was called to the scene to contain runoff.
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal.