LUDLOW, Maine — Houlton firefighters spent three hours battling a fast-moving fire that leveled a barn in the neighboring community of Ludlow early Wednesday morning.

Houlton Fire Chief Milton Cone said Thursday that the barn was “fully involved” by the time Houlton firefighters arrived at the 716 Ludlow Road property around 3:45 a.m.

The barn is owned by Roger Scott, who has an adjacent house on the property that was not damaged. Scott was not home at the time.

According to Cone, the metal construction of the 60-by-200-foot barn, coupled with the fact that there was a large amount of hay inside, along with with antique farm equipment and vehicles, made it difficult for firefighters to extinguish the blaze.

The barn served as a pen for sheep at one point, Cone said, and a workshop was located along the east end of the structure.

There was at least one pickup truck believed to be from the 1960s, along with farm machinery and other pieces of equipment stored inside the building. There also were several containers of gasoline or oil which caused minor explosions, Cone said.

Firefighters were called back to the scene five times Wednesday, and twice again on Thursday for flare-ups as the massive piles of hay continued to smolder. More than 50,000 gallons of water was dumped onto the property, the chief said.

There was no electricity to the barn, Cone said, which led fire officials to believe the fire may have been set. A representative of the state fire marshal’s office was called to investigate. Cone said no determination of an ignition source had been determined as of Thursday afternoon.

The fire chief did not know if the building was insured.