Huge blaze near Shrewsbury was deliberate, say investigators
A fire which destroyed more than 100 tonnes of straw has been ruled as deliberate by the emergency services.
Landowner Charles Bridgeman from Leaton Estates which is based near Bomere Heath has thanked his neighbours and firefighters for preventing the fire from spreading to other barns and outbuildings.
The blaze was first spotted at just after 2.45pm on Sunday on farm land near the Leaton Christmas Tree Plantation on the road between Shrewsbury and Baschurch.
Fire crews, including the Incident Support Unit, the Light Pumping Unit and the Welfare Unit, from Bridgnorth, Hodnet, Minsterley, Newport, Prees, Shrewsbury, Telford Central, Wem and Whitchurch rushed to the scene. They used hosereel jets and main jets to tackle the fire.
Operations, Hazmat and safety officers were also in attendance.
Firefighters battled throughout the day to bring the blaze under control. At times the fierce fire reached temperatures of 629 degrees celsius.
Mr Bridgeman said: "Due to the prompt action of the fire service the farm building escaped with minor damage.
"People put themselves on the line to stop the fire from spreading to neighbouring properties. I want to thank the local community for their assistance.
"The fire service stopped it from being very much worse although tackling the fire took up considerable resources of the emergency services.
"I am overwhelmed by the offers of help that I have had from the local community."
Fire investigators have now confirmed that the fire was started deliberately and are appealing for information from anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area on Sunday afternoon.
Anyone with information should call West Mercia Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org