Roads closed amid asbestos fears from Telford barn fire

[gallery] A barn at a Shropshire farm has been destroyed by fire, causing roads to be closed amid fears of a risk to public safety.

Roads closed amid asbestos fears from Telford barn fire

Cows in the barn at Wall Farm in Kynnersley, near Telford, were moved to safety before the fire took hold of the barn, which contained with hay and straw.

Firefighters were at the scene for several hours battling to bring the blaze under control. Witnesses reported seeing huge flames coming from the farm from several miles away.

Roads covering a mile radius from the farm were closed after fears were raised about asbestos fibres from the barn's roof entering the air.

Farmers Neil and Stephanie Dobson, who have lived and worked at the site for more than 40 years, have spoken of their "sheer relief" that no-one was hurt and neither were any of the cattle that had been inside the barn.

They said it was only the second fire they had had at the farm over the past four decades.

Eight fire crews from across the county were sent to the farm after the open-sided barn was engulfed in flames at about 2.45pm yesterday.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Mrs Dobson said: "It was very unpleasant and upsetting but the main thing is that no-one was hurt and that we managed to get the cows that were in the barn to safety.

"It is a great loss of hay and that is an expensive loss but it could have been much worse.

"As the fire broke out during the day we were able to move the Aberdeen Angus cattle that were in there to safety.

"The fire broke out in the central barn and the firefighters managed to contain it to that area. Luckily, it didn't spread to any of the adjacent buildings."

The barn measured 60 metres by 40 metres, and contained 2,000 cubic metres of straw, according to firefighters

Crews used one main jet, two hose reel jets and two breathing apparatus to protect nearby buildings.

Speaking at the scene, a spokesman for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service said: "The public cannot get within a mile of the barn because of the asbestos roof. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus are tackling the blaze and we are asking motorists to turn around on the approach to the barn."

One resident, who lives near to Wall Farm and did not wish to be named, said: "Huge flames could be seen from the farm as I was driving home from work.

"When I got into Kynnersley the police had closed the road leading to it and we heard that it had also been blocked off from the other side.

"The farmers must be very distressed. Hopefully no-one has been hurt."

Another resident added: "It was very dramatic. We could see the flames on the horizon and a couple of fire engines went by. So glad to hear that no-one has been hurt."

Two years ago, a couple and their two young children were forced to flee in their nightclothes when a huge blaze engulfed their 19th century farmhouse, also near Kynnersley.

Chris and Helen Holman were woken by smoke alarms at about 2am and managed to rush their boys, aged three and 18 months, to safety.

They all escaped unharmed as flames tore through their Buttery Farm home, near Wall Farm.

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