Barns destroyed by blaze

Firefighters tackling the blaze in one of the barns
Firefighters tackling the blaze in one of the barns

A LARGE fire has broken out at a farm, destroying two barns.

Crews were called to Morley’s Hall Farm on Morley’s Lane, Astley, at 11.10pm on Tuesday where the barns, which contained more than 400 tonnes of hay and some farm equipment, were well alight.

Five fire engines from Leigh, Atherton, Farnworth and Eccles and the command support unit attended and used three jets to extinguish the blaze.

They also prevented the fire from spreading to the other farm buildings, one of which is grade II listed barn.

Watch manager John Duffin from Farnworth fire station said: “When we got there the barns were already well alight so our priority was to protect the other buildings.

“There was a listed brick-built barn nearby which was already affected by the heat from the fire so we used a water curtain, essentially a wall of mist, to protect it.

“We initially struggled because the water supply in the area was poor which is why we required extra engines so we could move water from a nearby canal to put on the barn.

“We think the fire was caused by the hay self igniting. When it gets damp and starts to dry out it heats up and sometimes that can be to the point where it ignites.

“No one was injured but the farmer did move some livestock out of harms way I think.”

The two barns, a combine harvester and a couple of tractors were destroyed in the blaze.

Crews remain at the scene as the fire is not completely out but they have decided it will cause less disruption to the farmer and surrounding residents to let it burn itself out.

Mr Duffin said: “It is a sparsely populated area but if it comes to the point where it is disrupting residents and traffic we will review the strategy.”