Animals die in late-night barn blaze

A fire at a farm in Mark gutted an outhouse Picture:Devon and Somerset Fire Service

A fire at a farm in Mark gutted an outhouse Picture:Devon and Somerset Fire Service - Credit: Devon and Somerset Fire Service

A farmer has thanked the quick thinking of his neighbour who raised the alarm after spotting an outhouse full of pedigree cows and pigs had caught alight.

Fire crews from Bridgwater, Burnham and Glastonbury rushed to the scene at Mark’s Littlemoor Farm, just after 11pm on Saturday.

Farm owner Stuart House was alerted to the blaze when his neighbour Caroline phoned to ask if they were having a bonfire.

Mr House said: “If she hadn’t have called we really would have been in a pickle.

“We usually have bonfires near the house, but when she said it was down by the outhouses, I went to the bathroom to have a look and saw we had a little more than a bonfire.”

Mr House then called the fire service and rushed to the building, home to his prize pedigree Highland cattle and Gloucestershire old spot pigs, and managed to evacuate most of the livestock before firefighters arrived.

Unfortunately a litter of piglets which had been shut in to stop them escaping died in the blaze which destroyed 70 per cent of the five by seven metre building.

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It took fire crews just over half an hour to bring the fire under control using two reels jets and a high pressure jet, to dose the flames which had engulfed the wooden stables, severely damaging the roof and interior.

Mr House said: “I would like to thank my neighbour Caroline for calling me.

“If she had not phoned it would have got into the hay barn and spread to the rest of the outbuildings as they are all connected.

“Luckily she went out and saw it and had enough sense to give me a call rather than just assume it was a bonfire.

“In my 22 years of farming here, we have never had anything like this happen before, it has left us both quite shaken up.

“I would also like to give a special mention to the residents Little Moor Road for not parking on the corner for a change, so the fire engines could get past for a change.

“And of course the fire service for their rapid response – they were fantastic.”

The animals displaced in the fire were rehoused around other parts of the home.

The fire service has said they believe the blaze was started accidental.