Fire destroys Sidford barn

PUBLISHED: 13:05 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:03 17 June 2010

POLICE are investigating a suspected arson attack which destroyed a barn and £3,500 worth of straw at Sidford on Tuesday night.

VIDEO: Sharon and John Butler

POLICE are investigating a suspected arson attack which destroyed a barn and £3,500 worth of straw at Sidford on Tuesday night.

Two Sidmouth fire engines and a water bowser from Exeter were called to Brook Farm at around 6pm and found the barn to be 'well alight' by the time they arrived.

Fire crews used three water jets to deal with the blaze but the barn and 1000 round bales of hay were all destroyed.

John Butler, his wife and his son, who live in Higher Brook Meadow, witnessed the fire.

Mr Butler said: "We were working in the garden at about 6pm and heard bangs and cracks - it sounded like fireworks.

"We looked across and could see the flames coming up the roof and the fire had taken hold by then."

Mr Butler rang the emergency services but someone had already contacted them.

He added: "My son and I walked down the lane and by the time we got there the barn was in full flame.

"The farmer looked very upset with the situation."

"A fire officer said to the farmer that they would let it burn itself out - it was still smoking on Wednesday morning."

"They don't know how it started but I've seen children playing there a lot."

PC Latter from Sidmouth police is investigating the fire but he said no suspects had come to light yet.

A police spokesman said: "If anyone was in the area at about tea-time on the day of the fire, Sidmouth police would like to hear from them." Anyone with information should contact the police on 08452 777444 quoting reference number, KS08598 or ring Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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