Animals saved from barn blaze drama
A FARMER has been left devastated after a fire ripped through his barn destroying 600 tonnes of hay and two tractors.
Around 800 pigs and several loose cows narrowly escaped harm in the fire, which engulfed the barn at Wall Farm, Aldsworth on Friday, August 24 at 6pm.
Cirencester station commander David Lane, who was in charge, said that it took a total of 26 firefighters more than 24 hours to extinguish the flames and make sure the barn was cooled.
He said: "The whole thing was burning by the time we got there. We could see it from quite a distance.
"The issue that we had was there was a huge barn right next to it – about a metre and a half away - with hundreds of pigs inside, and several other farm buildings in close proximity."
The farmer and farm workers scrambled to move the loose cows and pigs away from the smoke while fire crews from Northleach, Cirencester and Fairford fought the blaze. Crews from Burford and Witney and a water carrier from Cheltenham East fire station were also called to the scene. No animals are believed to have been harmed in the fire, but the barn and its contents, including two tractors have been destroyed.
Mr Lane said that they had been called out to a minor fire at a nearby barn two weeks before and the most likely cause was that hay bales had been stored damp and spontaneously combusted.
NFU mutual agent John Taylor said: "It has been a difficult season for hay and silage and a difficult stop-start harvest as well. "This means work is being compressed into short intense bursts dependent on the weather. Across the area we have had reports of problems storing hay which will heat up and can spontaneously combust sometimes when stored wet."