Arsonists set fire to 600 bales of straw in Whittlesey causing £15k damage

PUBLISHED: 12:08 14 September 2010

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SIX hundred bales of straw were torched in Whittlesey, causing about £15,000 of damage.

Police have urged farmers to be on their guard following the blaze, which occurred at a farm off Turningtree Road in the early hours of today (Tuesday).

Arsonists started the fire between midnight and 4am.

Pc Robin Smith, from the Rural Community Action Team (RCAT), said: “This is a serious crime which has cost the farmer a lot of money. I would urge people to be on the lookout for anyone acting suspiciously around straw stacks.

“This type of crime is very costly and can be dangerous for both the offender and other people.”

Firefighters from Whittlesey were called shortly before 5.40am and found the stack, measuring 50 metres by 50 metres, well alight.

Crews used a hose reel while farm machinery was used to spread out the straw to bring the fire under control. The crew had returned to the station by 7.00am.

The fire will continue to burn in a controlled manner for most of the day. Firefighters will return to reinspect the fire later today.

Anyone with any information about the fire, or to report suspicious activity, should call police on 0345 456 456 4, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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