Firefighters Tackle Major Blaze in Newland Barn Farm
At 01:19 hours on 3 September 2016, Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) received the first of many calls to agricultural buildings on fire in Monksfield Lane, Newland, near Malvern. Due to the number of calls, 3 fire engines, a water carrier and an officer were sent to the incident with the first crew arriving at 01:29.
Station Commander Stuart Crebbin commented "I arrived at 01:36 hours and the crews were faced with a fully developed fire spanning 2 barns, involving approximately 5000 bales and the fire was also causing damage to other property including nearby cars. At the time of my arrival, personnel were applying water to the incident from the on-board tanks and were connecting to the fire hydrant in Monksfield Lane."
He added "As a rural service, we frequently deal with fires in areas where there is little water and we have very well developed procedures and equipment to do this. At this incident, the nearest hydrant was working but was unable to supply enough water for our needs so a water carrier from Ledbury carrying 10,000 litres of water arrived at 01:44 hours and was in use by 01:57 hours to provide 2 water wall sprays and a jet to the scene."
The water carrier was used to shuttle water to the incident from larger hydrants further away whilst a supply was established from a local pond, approximately 250 metres away. During this stage of the operation, a light portable pump suffered a mechanical breakdown but was quickly replaced by another already at the scene and did not delay firefighting operations.
Station Commander Crebbin added: "this was a challenging incident due to the size of the fire when we arrived and the limited water supplies immediately available to us but we put in place well tested procedures and crews worked hard to bring the fire under control."
The cause of the fire is believed to be suspicious and an investigation is underway in conjunction with West Mercia Police.