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Fire crews leave scene of farm blaze after three days

PUBLISHED: 10:13 09 September 2019 | UPDATED: 11:54 09 September 2019

Firefighters worked for more than 24 hours to bring the fire under control at a farm in Southgate, near Reepham. Picture: Archant

Firefighters worked for more than 24 hours to bring the fire under control at a farm in Southgate, near Reepham. Picture: Archant

Archant

Firefighters have now left the scene of a large blaze affecting hay bales, tyres and farm machinery.

Firefighters worked for more than 24 hours to bring the fire under control at a farm in Southgate, near Reepham. Picture: ArchantFirefighters worked for more than 24 hours to bring the fire under control at a farm in Southgate, near Reepham. Picture: Archant

Plumes of smoke were first seen billowing from Southgate, between Reepham and Aylsham on Saturday at about 4.15pm.

After 24 hours of crews remaining on scene dampening down, all appliances left the site in Southgate at 10am on Monday.

A spokesperson from Norfolk Fire and Rescue said: "One appliance from Reepham was still on the scene dampening down this morning before leaving at 10am."

At the height of the blaze there were 27 fire fighters at the scene.

Firefighters are working to bring the remainder of a fire under control at a farm in Southgate, near Aylsham. Picture: ArchantFirefighters are working to bring the remainder of a fire under control at a farm in Southgate, near Aylsham. Picture: Archant

Residents in Corpusty - almost 10 miles away - reported being able to see the thick black smoke, while another in Cawston said the fire looked "horrendous".

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Station manager John Baker, based at North Walsham fire station, said: "At about 4.30pm we were mobilised to a large fire in the open - what we thought would probably be a field fire.

"When the first crew arrived they found it was actually a haystack fire at a farm. The stack was well alight and there must have been around 200 bails of straw in that stack.

Firefighters are still at the scene of a 'commercial building' fire in Southgate, near Aylsham. Picture: ArchantFirefighters are still at the scene of a 'commercial building' fire in Southgate, near Aylsham. Picture: Archant

"There was also a number of old tyres on fire and two bailers have been destroyed as well. The farmer's been really cooperative, assisting us with a teleporter."

When the fire first broke out, five fire crews from Reepham, Aylsham, Fakenham, Carrow and Sprowston and a water carrier from Fakenham were at the scene, and Birds Lane was closed.

Crews used hose reel jets, compressed air foam system and hand appliances to extinguish the fire.

Mr Baker said: "We did initially ask residents to close doors and windows. It's died down a lot now but there was such a big plume and obviously we don't want that affecting people.

"We can't rule out that it's been deliberately started but there will be an investigation into that. It's had a big effect on the farmer, the surrounding community and obviously the fire service is tied up for a long time when we need resources elsewhere."

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