Published:
August 15, 2017
Probe into Brean farm blaze identifies 'internal combustion' as cause

The cause of a big fire which left thousands of pounds of damage at a Brean farm earlier this month has been identified.

Farmer Richard Bigwood, the owner of Brean Farm in Brean Down Road, told Burnham-On-Sea.com that 'internal combustion' in the barn has been blamed for the blaze.

As first reported here, six fire crews from across the area were called to fight the blaze and bring it under control over three days.

"The cause has been confirmed as internal combustion - it's the first fire I've had caused by this, but other local barn fires have started this way," said Richard.

"It's caused by heat building up inside wet hay a few weeks after baling."

He added: "It was a huge blaze that destoyed 650 hay bales and 100 tonnes of our silage - all our winter cattle feed - but it could've been a lot worse if it had happened at night when the cattle and nearby caravans could have been lost."

"I'm very grateful to all those who helped to move the cattle and caravans, plus the fire crews for their work, and all those who have offered support."

One woman was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation during the fire which broke out on Friday August 4th in a large barn, measuring 100m x 50m.

Fire engines from Burnham-On-Sea, Cheddar, Bridgwater, Nether Stowey, Glastonbury, Wells and Wiveliscombe were sent to the blaze.

The incident continued overnight into Sunday August 6th, with crews dampening down hotspots and allowing the straw in the barn to burn out under controlled circumstances.

Holidaymakers helped to move caravans and animals to safety in the initial stages of the incident.

"Holidaymakers from nearby Channel View caravan park, beach wardens and staff from Warren Farm rushed to Brean Farm to help move the cows, tractors from adjoining barns, and a large number of caravans from the caravan storage area."

He added: "A safe area was created to make a fire break so the flames didn't spread."

Pictured: Contributed photos of the farm blaze in Brean; and drone footage of the fire from the skies above the site (Ben Warren)

 


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