Wetheringsett: Farmer reacts after barn hit by major fire

A FARMER has said a major blaze which engulfed 500-tonnes of straw bales has caused thousands of pounds worth of damage.

More than 25 fire fighters were scrambled to a farm in Pages Green, Wetheringsett, near Debenham, yesterday morning at around 3.20am.

Leonard Munter, 63, who owns the 80-hectare arable farm was woken up at 3.30am by someone phoning to say they had seen the fire.

He said: “It was a shock. It was for our reserves of straw for food and pigs’ bedding. It will cost money, we are insured but it’s not the answer.

“It was one good thing that there was no animal and no person hurt but it was the only good thing.”

The fire ripped through a barn, a beet harvester and other farm machinery. The barn also contained two tankers, one containing diesel but were unaffected by the fire.

Tim Stygall, who lives nearby at White Horse Corner, said he came downstairs when he heard a noise.

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He said: “I looked out the front curtains and low and behold there was a glow through the trees.

“I went outside and walked to the corner so I could get a better view.

“By this time the flames were 60 or 70 feet high. Then there was an explosion, a deep reverberating explosion.

“Parked outside was a new six-wheel beet harvester and a front-end loader.”

Fire crews from Eye, Debenham, Stowmarket, Needham Market and Diss all attended.

The fire was under control by around 5am and the straw allowed to burn under controlled conditions.

Fire officers and police carried out an investigation at the farm but said they believed the cause to be accidental.