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Disaster averted in Briercliffe barn fire
AN EXPLOSION was narrowly avoided when a Briercliffe barn containing 1,000 litres of diesel caught fire.
Heat from the blaze melted a plastic rainwater container on the roof releasing 1,000 litres of rain water on to the flames below.
The fire is understood to have started when a generator in the farm building, in Robin House Lane, caused a spark, setting bundles of freshly cut hay and barrels of red diesel ablaze.
Firefighters said a blast would almost certainly have occurred had the barn not had the rainwater tank on the roof.
Six fire engines from across East Lancashire went to the isolated barn, which also contained three tractors, to make sure enough water could be provided to put out the fire.
They had to form a mile-long relay of hoses to the nearest water hydrant and spent around an hour putting out the blaze.
The barn was severely damaged causing plumes of black smoke, and the vehicles inside were completely destroyed.
Neil Ashworth, watch manager at Burnley Station, said the farmer had been extremely lucky that the water in the plastic trough burst.
He said: “Fortunately we got here in time, it could have been a lot worse if it was not for the water. We often look for open water in these situations but there was nothing in the vicinity, so we set up the relay.
“There was a large quantity of red diesel involved, which caused the rapid spread of the fire.
“We got the fire under control in approximately an hour, but it was very hot in there.
“Everything was secure, so we are not treating it as suspicious.”
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