Major blaze at farm is blamed on ‘arsonists’
ARSONISTS are believed to be responsible for a major fire in the Staffordshire Moorlands last week.
Following an investigation Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has said the cause of the large scale blaze in Cheddleton last week is deliberate.
Firefighters were called to Basford Bridge Farm, off Basford Bridge Lane, at 8.32pm on Tuesday, October 30, after reports of a large fire in agricultural buildings.
At the height of the incident eight crews from across the Staffordshire Moorlands and Stoke-on-trent were in attendance.
The blaze could be seen from several miles away. No person or any animals were hurt.
Firefighters, who were at the scene for almost three days, had to split the area into three sectors to tackle the fire, which involved a 40 metre by 30 metre building full of hay.
Fire crews used several main jets and a high volume pump to put out the flames, while machinery was used to remove some of the materials.
The firefighters, with the help of the owner of the site, continued to remove the hay and damp down hot spots through to Thursday, November 1.
The blaze caused disruption to the local area with Basford Bridge Lane closed to through traffic for the duration of the operation.
Following the fire investigation the incident is being treated as deliberate and the fire service is now liaising with Staffordshire Police.
Fire investigation officer Kelvin Knapper said: “We believe this incident was caused deliberately which is extremely worrying and disappointing. Fortunately no one was hurt during the fire and no animals on the site were injured either.
“This fire has taken up considerable time and resources and has no doubt been distressing for the owner.
“The service was at the farm for around three days and several crews were needed to tackle the blaze.
“These resources could have been used elsewhere to help others in trouble which is why the fact it appears to be a deliberate incident is frustrating for everyone at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“We try to educate people about the dangers of strating fires as they can easily lead to injury or death.
“Anyone starting fires could face five years in prison or a £5,000 fine.
“Please keep an eye out for any fire starters in your area and don’t hesitate to call the police if you see anything suspicious.
“If you think someone may have set a fire please call the fire service.”
Flames from the blaze at Basford Bridge Farm, Cheddleton, could be seen from several miles away. Picture by Snappersquad member Emma Loiuse Rowe.