June 19 2013 Latest news:
By SOPHIE WYLLIE
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Thousands of pounds worth of equipment was destroyed after a large straw fire which started on a trailer in Watton spread to two back gardens.
The five tonnes of straw was ablaze just after 3.20pm yesterday (Saturday) while the vehicle drove towards Dereham on the A1075.
It stopped just after the traffic lights at the main crossroads near the Queens Hall car park.
Crews from Watton, Hingham and Dereham were called after the blaze spread to the fences and a shed of two terraced houses, which back onto the main road.
The area was cordoned off while firefighters transferred the smouldering pile of straw off the road, which was blocked for motorists until just before 7pm.
It is not believed anyone was injured.
Sarah Avery, 25, whose shed was wrecked in the fire, said: “We were sitting in the back garden having a cup of tea and saw some smoke. We suddenly saw a huge ball of flames outside our fence. It was quite frightening.”
The windows of the garden shed were smashed and part of the roof which had been refelted was damaged.
Two adult mountain bikes, worth £200 each, tools used by her partner Darren Stone, 29, who is a welder, and parts of Mr Stone’s treasured CBR 600 motorbike were ruined in the fire.
Other items which were wrecked included fishing rods, which belonged to Mr Stone’s late grandfather, two Flymo lawnmowers and a bike trailer.
The fire spread from the fence and tree in Mrs Avery’s neighbour’s garden and the mother-of-two thinks between £3,000 and £3,500 worth of equipment has been damaged.
“The shed is just a mangled mess that you cannot recognise. Darren is gutted, he loved his bike,” she added.
The back fence was destroyed, but that will be replaced by Flagship Housing Group, and some of the carpets in the house were burnt.
Miss Avery said: “The hay was singeing and flying everywhere. I was panicking. You don’t expect that kind of thing to happen on a Saturday afternoon. But it could have been a lot worse.”
Neighbour Julie Clarkson, 41, said the fire which destroyed her fence, trees and garden furniture caused more “emotional damage”.
She added: “Apparently the driver of the trailer didn’t know it was on fire. People were waving him down. Our whole back garden is going to have to be redone.
“It was scary. I was out in my back garden when the trailer pulled up and I was shaking like a leaf. Luckily the house was untouched but there is lots of smoke damage.”
Officers blocked the road from the traffic lights on the main A0175 and B1108 crossroads up to the turning to Saham Toney and Ovington, just outside Watton.
One woman, who did not want to be named, said she heard the straw was alight when the trailer was driven past Tesco.