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Crews battle Chilcompton barn fire near Mulberry factory for 24 hours

By Wells Journal  |  Posted: January 10, 2013

  • The fire scene at Chilcompton

  • The roof of the barn is warped by the heat of the blaze

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Firefighters spent more than 24 hours fighting a blaze on the Mendips last week.

The fire broke out on a tractor at a metal barn at Rookery Farm, Chilcompton, on Wednesday morning.

Employees at the neighbouring factory of fashion house Mulberry raised the alarm.

Around 18 sets of firefighters were at the scene over the 24 hours as they fought to get the inferno under control.

Initially crews were called out from Shepton Mallet, Paulton and Radstock from Avon Fire Service, along with a water/foam carrier from Yeovil.

But with the fire already spreading to the five-bay building itself and its contents of 100 tonnes of straw, other units were brought in.

Firefighters from Chew Magna in Avon, Castle Cary and Glastonbury and the incident command unit also from Street attended with a support pump from Ilminster. Livestock in the nearby area was moved to safety.

Crews isolated the electrical supply and the Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Services were mobilised from Bridgwater to help local residents.

A fire brigade spokesman said that relief crews had to be called in from Yeovil, Cheddar and Shepton Mallet, followed through the night by other crews from Castle Cary and Wells.

At 2.30am on Thursday morning other fighters from Frome and Street were drafted in to take over from exhausted firefighters, as well as officers manning another specialist unit, this time from Martock. A building control inspector who had been keeping a watch since earlier in the day decided in the night to temporarily pull firefighters away from the immediate scene.

When the wind dropped the crews were able to resume turning over and damping down the smouldering remains until late on Thursday.

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