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Firefighters battle tonnes of burning hay

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: August 31, 2012

FIRE DAMAGE: Twisted equipment and damaged buildings following the fire at the farm buildings.

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FIREFIGHTERS from five towns tackled a huge blaze which destroyed around 300 tonnes of hay and straw, together with farm buildings and machinery, near Launceston at the weekend.

Fire engines were called to Keith Jasper's Botathan Farm at South Petherwin, Launceston, on Saturday afternoon.

Engines from Launceston and Callington were the first to be mobilised.

On arrival, a range of farm buildings were well alight and further resources were requested. Crews from Bodmin and Liskeard were mobilised and specialist engines from Launceston, Liskeard and Saltash also attended as well as the welfare vehicle from St Dennis.

The buildings were a few hundred yards from a major sheep abattoir – one of the busiest in the South West, but it was not affected.

The fire involved a range of farm buildings measuring 70 by 30 metres.

Teams of firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were committed at the scene, and used high pressure hose reels and ground monitors.

The fire was allowed to burn out under control and was still burning on Sunday morning.

Two ground monitors and a jet were used to protect surrounding buildings. The cause is not yet known.

Phil Parsons, the Cornwall councillor who lives at South Petherwin, was among local farmers who went to help.

"The fire services did a fantastic job, with support from many towns as well as Launceston. It is when you get a situation like this that you realise the importance of our emergency services.

"Steel buildings were twisted in the heat and tractors and trailers were badly damaged, but fortunately no people or livestock were hurt."

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