Barn fire in Alfriston was accidental

Alfriston barn fire.'Water containers and hoses left by fire service
Alfriston barn fire.'Water containers and hoses left by fire service
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A blaze which ripped through a barn in Alfriston was accidental, according to fire investigators.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service fought through the night on Wednesday (November 13) to bring the flames under control at the farm in Whiteway.

Crews removed smouldering bales of hay and doused the building in foam and water.

Worried residents initially reported the barn had caught alight with livestock still inside the building.

A spokesman for the fire service said: “On arrival the crew found that 20 tonnes of hay was being stored in the building.

“The cattle had been led to safety by the owner.”

The spokesman continued: “Twenty tonnes of smouldering hay was removed by digger into the open air and the stop message was received at 9.47am on November 14.

“Crews removed a CO2 extinguisher and a number of petrol cannisters.

“Six breathing apparatus were used, along with foam and water.

“The fire has been investigated and the cause found to be accidental.”

Farmers are now being asked to check their fire safety measures after the blaze which wasthe third barn fire in just three days in East Sussex.

On November 12 crews were called to a farm in Brambletye Lane in Forest Row after a fire in an industrial unit. The fire was accidental.

On the same day crews attended a barn fire in Dallington which was also found to be accidental.

A spokesman for the fire service added: “Farmers are again being urged to check their fire safety measures, as this is the third barn fire in two days in East Sussex.

“Farmers are required by law, under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, to carry out a fire risk assessment of their farm buildings.”

The fire service said to minimise the risk of fire, farmers should remove hay and straw from the field as soon as possible after harvesting and should be stored separately from fuels, agrochemicals, machinery, and livestock.

It also said petrol, diesel, and other fuels should be stored in secure areas and padlocked.

The fire service said farmers should check that open water supplies are being properly maintained for firefighting.

For more help and advice about minimising the risk of fire at farms visit East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s website http://www.esfrs.org/