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More than 70 firefighters tackle straw blaze

PUBLISHED: 11:44 08 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:57 08 April 2019

The scene in Hardwick this morning. Picture: Archant

The scene in Hardwick this morning. Picture: Archant

Archant

Two barns have been destroyed in a nighttime blaze that was tackled by around 80 fire fighters.

The scene in Hardwick this morning. Picture: ArchantThe scene in Hardwick this morning. Picture: Archant

Almost 1,000 tons of straw near Long Stratton burned in the early hours of Monday, April 8.

Fire fighting teams from Long Stratton, Harleston, Carrow, Earlham, Diss and Sprowston took on the fire at Hardwick Hall arable farm on Hall Lane, in Hardwick near Long Stratton.

An additional water carrier was needed from Hethersett as about 80 firefighters extinguished the fire.

The blaze was in two Dutch barns in which 800 tons of straw was being stored, with crews called at 12.50am.

Fire service teams from Long Stratton and Attleborough remained on scene well after the blaze was brought under-control on Monday.

Long Stratton watch manager Kevin Flaxman said: “It’s two Dutch barns full of straw equating to 800 tons of straw. I was the first person on the scene.

“We had six pumps and probably about 80 fire fighters here. We will be allowing it to burn itself out throughout the day. Our issue is that there is a timber frame barn nearby, which we are protecting.

“We don’t know how it started. Dutch barns are a really old, traditional style of building with white sheet asbestos in the roof, which makes it a bit more of a hazard as it explodes in heat.

“We are unsure whether it was an accidental ignition and we can’t say at the moment and I don’t know if we ever will be able to. A tractor was damaged and some farm machinery was lost as well.”

No-one was injured.

Third generation farm owner Jeremy Alexander said: “We lost about 100 hestons, 160 ram bales, and one or two bits of equipment. We are just trying to clear up now.”

It was not the only large fire to take place in the region early on Monday morning.

In Sedge Fen in Suffolk, nine fire crews spent almost six hours battling a wood store blaze.

Firefighters from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) were called to the scene of the fire at Aston’s Timber Yard, in Sedgefen Road, at around 2.55am.

At the height of the blaze, nine fire engines and 22 firefighters were on scene fighting the fire.

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