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Man arrested for arson in connection with spate of farm fires

PUBLISHED: 11:48 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:59 08 October 2019

Fire crews from across South Norfolk tackled a large barn on fire at Bressingham. Picture: Simon Parkin

Fire crews from across South Norfolk tackled a large barn on fire at Bressingham. Picture: Simon Parkin

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A man has been arrested as part of a police investigation into a spate of suspected arson incidents at farms in South Norfolk.

Fire crews from across South Norfolk tackled a large barn on fire at Bressingham. Picture: Simon ParkinFire crews from across South Norfolk tackled a large barn on fire at Bressingham. Picture: Simon Parkin

The man, aged in his 20s and from the Diss area, has been arrested on suspicion of criminal damage - arson not endangering life and possession of cannabis.

An investigation was launched following fires at barns and straw stacks in rural areas around the villages of Bressingham and Kenninghall, close to Diss.

Fire crews from across South Nofolk tackled a large barn fire at Bressingham. Picture: Simon ParkinFire crews from across South Nofolk tackled a large barn fire at Bressingham. Picture: Simon Parkin

In the latest incident fire crews from across South Norfolk were called to tackle a blaze that engulfed a barn containing straw on Common Road at Bressingham on October 3.

Eight fire appliances, including crews from Diss, Harleston, East Harling, Hethersett and three engines from Thetford, were fought to contain the blaze which destroyed the structure.

It came less than a week after similar suspected arson attacks on farm buildings in both Bressingham and Kenninghall that prompted the fire service to issue a warning for residents to keep their windows and doors closed.

In one blaze, on Kenninghall Road at Bressingham, the fire engulfed 2,000 tonnes of straw in a storage building next to a piggery containing livestock.

The barn on Common Road near Bressingham that was destroyed in a suspected arson attack. Picture: GoogleThe barn on Common Road near Bressingham that was destroyed in a suspected arson attack. Picture: Google

A Norfolk Police spokesman said: "Officers were called to a farm in Kenninghall Road, Bressingham, at around 9.30pm on Thursday, September 26 to reports a hay stack housed in a barn was on fire.

"There was another suspected arson at a farm in Fersfield Road, Kenninghall, shortly before 1pm on Friday, September 27, when a large stack of hay bales was set on fire.

Fire crews from across South Norfolk tackled a large barn on fire at Bressingham. Picture: Simon ParkinFire crews from across South Norfolk tackled a large barn on fire at Bressingham. Picture: Simon Parkin

"Officers called shortly after 1.30pm on Thursday, October 3 to another fire in Common Road, Bressingham after reports a barn containing straw bales was on fire."

The police investigation is continuing into the circumstances surrounding the fires. The man arrested has been released under investigation while enquires continue.

Norfolk Fire Service said farms were particularly vulnerable to arson, their isolated location, open boundaries, readily ignitable hay and straw stacks making them an easy target.

Witnesses or anyone with information about the fires can contact Norfolk Police on 101.

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