Farmer distraught after major barn blaze

A FARMER has told how he had to rescue his cattle when a huge Dutch barn went up in flames.

Laurence Cawley

A FARMER has told how he had to rescue his cattle when a huge Dutch barn went up in flames.

Fire crews from across west Suffolk were dispatched after the blaze was reported in Hinderclay, near Diss, in the early hours of yesterday morning, at about 12.40am.

The barn in Pear Tree farm in Chapel Road contained a tractor, a combine harvester and 500 tonnes of straw.

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Owner and farmer Peter Thorrold, who is a member of Hinderclay Parish Council, yesterday told how the scene of the blaze had been reduced to “a pile of ash”.

He said nobody had been hurt in the incident and all the cattle had been safely evacuated from the scene.

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“We are all alright and that is the main thing. We got all the cattle out as well, so none of them were hurt either. We've got no idea at the moment what the cause was. There was a lot of straw in there and machinery,” he said.

Firefighters from Ixworth, Diss, Eye and Newmarket were sent to the blaze and at one staged they used four water jets to beat back the flames.

Although the cause of the blaze is yet to be established, Suffolk County Fire Service has notified the police about the incident. A spokesman for the fire service said yesterday the incident was over by 11.23am and said there would be a full investigation into the blaze and a comprehensive fire report drawn up.

He confirmed there was no indication as to how the fire started at the present time.

It comes just four months after arsonists targeted two other west Suffolk barns during late night attacks.

One of the incidents was in Nowton on March 30 in which a farmer awoke to find a 15,000sq m barn and valuable farming equipment had been torched. The incident happened within minutes of a second barn going up in flames at nearby Lawshall, which was opposite the gates of Coldham Hall, the mansion owned by supermodel Claudia Schiffer and her family.

The two incidents, which were started deliberately, required more than 10 separate crews of firefighters from across Suffolk to put out the flames.

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