Fire enginesLibrary photo © Rex Shutterstock

A fire that destroyed 300 hay bales and damaged a barn roof is being treated as arson.

Firefighters from four stations were called to the fire at a barn on a farm in Tawstock, Devon, just after 2.30pm on Sunday (8 February).

Three fire crews from Barnstaple, Braunton and Ifracombe as well as a water carrier were needed to tackle the blaze.

On arrival, firefighters found the barn was well alight and they called for a further fire engine, which was sent from Barnstaple.

See also: Fires cost farm industry more than rural crime

A spokesman for Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said: “The barn measured 15x35m and contained approximately 300 bales of straw.

“Crews worked with two ground monitors, two main jets and one hose reel jet. They got the fire under control and have it surrounded. Fire appliances remained at the scene overnight Sunday to maintain a watching brief.”

A spokeswoman for Devon and Cornwall Police said the fire was being investigated as arson.

Police said a barn full of hay and straw went up in flames and the roof frame was also destroyed. The spokeswoman estimated the farmer’s losses at about £5,000.

Elsewhere in the county, police are investigating a separate arson attack at a farm in Rutleigh Ball, Hatherleigh.

Three fire crews were scrambled to reports of an agricultural building on fire containing cattle and sheep.

On arrival, fire crews found a pile of 200 tyres on fire on open ground that affected the gable end of the building.

Firefighters used breathing apparatus and two jets to extinguish the flames. No animals were injured or killed.

Anyone with information on either of the two incidents is asked to call police on 101.