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Cambridgeshire firefighters tackle barn blaze, huge stack fires and arson attacks within hours of each other




Firefighters in Cambridgeshire have tackled huge stack fires, arson attacks in Cambridge and Milton and a village barn blaze within a matter of hours.

The scene of a barn fire in Sutton Gault on August 4, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958045)
The scene of a barn fire in Sutton Gault on August 4, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958045)

This was what was left after a fierce barn fire in East Cambridgeshire involving gas canisters.

Fire crews from Ely, March, Chatteris and Huntingdon were called to the blaze on Bedinghams Drove, Sutton Gault at 3.15pm on Tuesday.

Gas canisters at the scene of a barn fire in Sutton Gault on August 4, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958049)
Gas canisters at the scene of a barn fire in Sutton Gault on August 4, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958049)

The barn was well alight when they arrived, and was spreading to another workshop and a car.

The crews wore breathing apparatus and used two hose reels to extinguish the fire, returning to their stations by 7.15pm, before reinspecting the scene later in the evening.

The scene of a barn fire in Sutton Gault on August 4, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958052)
The scene of a barn fire in Sutton Gault on August 4, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958052)

The cause of the fire was accidental.

On the same night, at 8.57pm, firefighters were called to a huge stack fire off Station Road, Stow Cum Quy, involving around 200 tonnes of baled straw, which was spreading to trees and vegetation.

Crews from Cambridge, Cottenham, Soham, Burwell, Linton, Gamlingay, St Neots, March, Chatteris and two water carriers, one from Ramsey and one from Newmarket - part of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service - attended.

The stack fire at Stow cum Quy on August 4, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958054)
The stack fire at Stow cum Quy on August 4, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958054)

The stack was in close proximity to standing crop. Firefighters used beaters and hose reels to prevent it spreading.

Working in sectors, alongside the farmer, they created a fire break and dampened down neighbouring fields. Crews began scaling down in the early hours of the morning, while still maintaining a watching brief.

The blaze followed an accidental stable and stack fire on Buntings Drove, Whittlesey, which crews tackled between 4.30pm and 7.15pm on Tuesday. Fortunately, no horses were inside the stable.

Crews also tackled a grain store fire on Osborne Road, Wisbech, which they were called to at 12.54pm on Tuesday.

On Monday, five hay bales were found well alight, when crews were called at 10.21pm to Bushmead Road, Eaton Socon. The cause was accidental.

There was another major stack fire in High Ditch Road, Fen Ditton on Monday.

Following a call at 7.37pm, one crew from Cottenham found around 30 bales of straw well alight. They worked with the farmer and farm machinery, firefighters used hose reels and beaters to extinguish the fire.

This fire was started deliberately, and anyone with information is urged to contact police by visiting www.cambs.police.uk or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

The field fire in Cottenham on August 3, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958039)
The field fire in Cottenham on August 3, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958039)

Earlier that day, at 2.33pm, two crews from Cambridge, one crew from Cottenham and one crew from Ely were called to a field stubble fire on Lockspit Hall Drove, Cottenham.

Twenty acres of standing crop and stubble were alight, which had spread from a combine harvester. Firefighters used four hose reels and a jet, along with small gear to extinguish the fire.

The field fire in Cottenham on August 3, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958042)
The field fire in Cottenham on August 3, 2020. Picture: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service (39958042)

On Monday evening, at 10.49pm, one crew from Cottenham was called to a car that had been deliberately set alight in a ditch on Fen Road, Milton. Firefighters used two hose reels to extinguish the fire, before returning to their station by 12.15am on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, at 8.02am today (Wednesday), a crew from Cambridge was called to another fire that had been started deliberately - this time in a large hollow tree on High Ditch Road, Fen Ditton. They used an extended hose reel and small gear to put it out, before returning to their station by 9am.

That followed an accidental fire involving a tree stump at 2.12am this morning on West End Park, March.

There was also an accidental fire involving trees on allotments in Haverhill Road, Stapleford, which a crew from Burwell attended, after a call at 4.07pm on Monday.

Other incidents have included:

  • An arson attack on Sunday in Ditton Fields in Abbey ward, Cambridge. Crews were called at 3.35pm to a fire in the front garden of a house that was spreading to a caravan.
  • A number of trees and a shed accidentally catching alight in High Road, Wisbech St Mary. The fire service was called at 7.07pm on Monday.
  • 10 tonnes of woodchip well alight, and near further wood piles and standing crop in Hod Fen Drove, Holme. Crews had been called at 6.34pm on Monday and used drags and a hose reel jet to get the fire under control, working alongside the farmer with farming machinery.
  • An accidental vehicle fire on Monday at 4.51pm at Riverside car park in Huntingdon.
  • An accidental car fire on the A428 near St Neots on Monday at 4.15pm
  • An accidental car fire at 1.17am on Saturday on the hard shoulder of the southbound carriageway of the M11 between Hauxton and Duxford.

These incidents followed the major fire at Duxford Community Primary School on Friday night, attended by about 50 firefighters from several counties.

The fire at Duxford Primary School (39881373)
The fire at Duxford Primary School (39881373)

Investigations into its cause are ongoing, with police keen to hear of any suspicious activity seen in the area.

The scene of a fire in Spitfire Road, Upper Cambourne, on July 30, 2020. Picture: Paul Brackley (39530254)
The scene of a fire in Spitfire Road, Upper Cambourne, on July 30, 2020. Picture: Paul Brackley (39530254)

And an investigation into a fire at a car port last Thursday in Upper Cambourne uncovered that it was started by sun reflecting off broken glass.

Anyone with information about the deliberate fires should contact police by visiting www.cambs.police.uk to submit an online report or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Read more

Update: Field fire engulfs children’s play area and buildings as week of blazes continues in Cambridgeshire

Police investigate cause of Duxford Primary School fire - and urge community not to speculate

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Devastating fire hits Duxford C of E Community Primary School

Extraordinary cause of Cambourne car port fire uncovered



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