Police say a huge farm in Stretcholt near Burnham-On-Sea early on Sunday morning (February 21st) is not being treated as arson, however a separate blaze in Cossington later on Sunday was ‘deliberate’.
Burnham-On-Sea firefighters were among 12 crews battling the fierce overnight blaze in Sloway Lane, Stretcholt that saw farm buildings, a stable and domestic accommodation alight at 12.58am.
A Police spokeswoman told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “While an investigation at the scene is still being concluded, the fire is not currently being treated as arson and no persons are believed to have been injured.”
She added: “There are not thought to be any links with the fires that occurred in Creech St Michael on Friday 19th February or at Bridgwater College the day before.”
However, a separate barn blaze at 5pm on Sunday in Cossington was deliberately set, say fire crews.
Crews from Bridgwater and Burnham-On-Sea were initially called to Sunday morning’s farm blaze in Stretcholt, but other crews from across the county were added as the scale of the blaze became apparent.
Animals were safely moved from the buildings. One person was treated for smoke inhalation by ambulance crews and a police helicopter flew in to search for a person who was thought to be missing.
“En route, crews saw the fire in the distance and requested the water carrier from Bridgwater. Crews arrived and requested assistance from a further six pumps as the fire was well established,” says a spokesman.
“Appliances were sent from Burnham, Taunton, Nether Stowey, Cheddar and Wellington. The incident command unit was also sent from Street.”
“Crews reported farm buildings, a stable and domestic accommodation well involved in fire. All animals had been removed. Crews got to work with hose reel jets and main jets, with two firefighters in breathing apparatus.”
“At 1.38am, crews made pumps 12. The additional appliances were sent from Wellington, Glastonbury, Ilminster and Somerton. Low hazard asbestos was also reported to be involved in the fire.”
The ambulance service was also requested for one person with smoke inhalation and Western Power Distribution was also needed to isolate electrics on the scene.
“A second water carrier was also requested, sent from Yeovil, along with the incident support unit from Yeovil, and an environmental protection unit from Taunton.”
“At 2.39am, crews confirmed the incident to be involving an area of buiildings 100m by 200m. No other persons or animals were involved.”
“At 2.59am, crews were using 10 main jets, 4 breathing apparatus, compressed air foam, and water coming from the water carriers and a nearby pond.”
“At 3.34am, crews confirmed that not all persons were accounted for. Police were making investigations. The Ambulance Hazardous Area Response Team were sent, along with the Police Helicopter.”
“At 5.57am, the incident was being scaled down to 6 pumps. Relief crews from Somerton, Minehead, Williton, Dulverton, Honiton and Tiverton are in place, with steady progress being made.”
Crews remained on scene and damped down the buildings through the day as a Police investigation into what happened took place.
The fire was the third large blaze in Somerset in the last seven days, following fires at Bridgwater & Taunton College and at another farm in Taunton.
Pictured: Scenes overnight at the farm blaze (Photos: Burnham and Taunton Fire Stations)