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Barn blaze tackled on New Year’s Day

Twelve fire engines were involved in the effort to extinguish a major barn blaze on New Year’s Day, near Congleton.

Residents were told to keep their windows and doors shut as a precaution during the incident, which continued into the following day.

The blaze, near the former Coach and Horses pub on Under Rainow Road, Timbersbrook, began shortly after 5pm on Saturday.

Fire engines from Congleton, Alsager, Macclesfield, Middlewich, Crewe, Northwich, Birchwood, Bollington, Stockton Heath, Knutsford and one from Middlewich were sent to the scene during the course of the blaze, and firefighters remained at the scene for 12 hours.

The site was split into three sectors and crews wearing breathing apparatus initially tackled the fire from the ground using main jets and hose reels.

A hydraulic platform was later used to tackle the fire from above.
Crews remained at the scene overnight and the number of fire engines was reduced to three.

By Saturday morning one fire engine remained at the scene and the crew was damping down hot spots.

Firefighters used a variety of equipment including stack drags and ground monitors to control and check the situation to ensure that the fire was fully extinguished.

A mechanical digger was used by a farmer to remove machinery from the barn and hay was then also removed, while firefighters continued to damp down.

A thermal imaging camera was used to check the temperature and a thorough final check was carried out by firefighters before they left the scene just after 5am on Sunday.

The fire is believed to have been caused by combustion within the stored hay.
One of those who raised the alarm was Jane Lancaster, whose family owns farmland nearby.

“The fire brigade were at the scene in eight minutes. The crews were brilliant,” she said.
“There were six fire engines there within 40 minutes. It was quite a dangerous fire as it involved an asbestos shed so the smoke was quite toxic.”

Miss Lancaster added: “The barn was full of straw and hay – winter feed for the cattle – as well as farming implements.

“The fire was near the back of the Coach and Horses’ garden so at one point people in Mossley thought the pub was on fire.”

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