Firefighters put out barn blaze after homes evacuated

Huge plumes of smoke were thrown up into the air by the explosion

Huge plumes of smoke were thrown up into the air by the explosion - Credit: June Varley

Fire crews from across Essex were called to tackle a serious barn fire in Great Holland. 

Firefighters were called to the scene shortly before noon today (Tuesday, July 27) after reports that a farm building in Little Clacton Road was alight. 

Crews from Colchester, Clacton, Manningtree, Brightlingsea,  Frinton and Weeley were all involved in fighting the blaze. 

Firefighters on the scene of the barn fire in Great Holland

Firefighters on the scene of the barn fire in Great Holland - Credit: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

A spokesman for Essex Fire Service said that when fire crews arrived, they reported that the building, which measured 30m x 40m, was completely on fire.

The barn contained a number of cylinders, and approximately 1,000 litres of waste oil which had leaked onto the ground.

Firefighters surrounded the building and used a number of hoses to tackle the blaze. They also ensured all waste water from the fire was contained so it did not pose an environmental risk.

The fire was extinguished by 1.30pm, but crews remained on scene to ensure all hotspots were completely extinguished.

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The fire service spokesman said an investigation will now take place to find the cause of the fire.

A plume of black smoke from the fire following the explosion in Great Holland

Nearby residents heard a 'bomb-like' explosion in Great Holland - Credit: Geoff Taylor

June Varley, who lives nearby, said it had been a shock to hear the loud bang.

"The initial explosion sounded like a bomb going off and the windows and doors shook," she said. 

She said the road has been closed off while firefighters and police were getting the fire under control, and some people had been evacuated from their houses due to possible explosion risk. 

Nearby residents heard a 'bomb-like' explosion in Great Holland

There was a big plume of smoke following the explosion. - Credit: Geoff Taylor

Geoff Taylor, another nearby resident, said: "It was a hell of an explosion. I became aware of what sounded like very rapid fireworks going off while sitting in the office, as I work from home.

"That was then followed by a very loud explosion which shook the window. Looking up, the plume of black smoke could be seen."

The barn in Great Holland where fire crews were called to tackle a serious blaze

The barn in Great Holland where fire crews were called to tackle a serious blaze - Credit: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service


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