December 12 2013 Latest news:
Story by: ROB SETCHELL, Reporter
Tuesday, November 6, 2012
A BUSINESSMAN is counting the cost this morning after a Bonfire Night blaze caused thousands of pounds of damage at his plant nursery.
David Green, owner of Chapel Cottage Plants, in Hook Road, Wimblington, has estimated that last night’s fire did more than £35,000 worth of damage.
He said the blaze must have been started by a “stray firework” from a nearby barn, while the fire service claim the cause was a bonfire which had spread.
Mr Green said: “It has taken the whole area out. We have lost security fencing, agricultural tools, packaging, pots and it also damaged a 40ft lorry trailer.
“It’s not going to delay production on the nursery but I would put the damage at somewhere between £35,000 and £40,000.
“It’s going to be an uncomfortable few months.”
Five fire crews were called to the blaze at 7.30pm. Firefighters discovered a large quantity of plastics and about 50 wooden pallets were alight.
They used two jets to stop the fire from spreading to three nearby lorry trailers - although one trailer was damaged.
Crews battled the blaze for around three hours, returning to their stations at 10.40pm.
Sean Brown, incident commander, said: “This was a large fire, which we believe was caused by a bonfire which had spread.
“We would urge residents not to build bonfires too big and to ensure that they build them well away from buildings, vegetation and other flammable items.
“Bonfires should also be attended at all times and residents should ensure that they keep a bucket of water or a hosepipe handy in case the fire starts to spread.”
Mr Green praised the firefighters for their quick response.
“The fire brigade was excellent and nobody was hurt which was the main thing,” he said. “It’s the first time we’ve had a problem like this in 24 years.
“People are still going to enjoy fireworks and unfortunately these things happen.
“In a rural area like this we’ve got farm buildings and straw which will always be vulnerable to incidents like this.”
Further safety information on bonfires is available on www.cambsfire.gov.uk