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UPDATE: Dozens of firefighters tackle fuel and gas blaze in farm building

By This is Devon  |  Posted: July 03, 2012

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FIREFIGHTERS from all over South Devon were fighting a blaze on a farm at Widecombe this morning.

Crews from Ashburton, Moretonhampstead, Chagford, Torquay, Buckfastleigh, Totnes and Newton Abbot took part in the operation.

They set up a 100-metre cordon around the burning agricultural shed amid fears gas inside could explode.

Crews were called to Holwell Farm, Widecombe at 6.27am.

Two fire engines from Ashburton and Moretonhampstead were mobilised following a call from the owner reporting a shed, containing a generator, on fire.

On arrival crews immediately increased the attendance by a further fire appliance from Chagford, together with a water carrier from Torquay, confirming this was a large agricultural workshop well alight.

Within minutes the attendance was once again increased by a further fire appliance from Buckfastleigh, together with an Incident Command Unit and support appliance from Totnes, after crews confirmed acetylene cylinders were involved.

Also stored within the workshop were 5,000 litres of diesel and 3,000 litres of cooking oil.

The fire then began to spread to an adjacent building and so a decision was quickly made to increase the attendance by a further two fire appliances from Torquay and Newton Abbot.

At 8am a safety cordon of 100 metres was set, with crews using four ground monitors from this distance.

The Environment Agency has been request to attend due to fuel run-off into the fields from the diesel tank leaking.

A spokesman for the fire service said the fire had been in a single storey barn, 20 metres by 10 metres, used as a farm workshop.

The whole of the building was severely damaged by fire. The adjoining barn, used to store hay, was 10 per cent damaged by fire.

Ten tonnes of damaged hay were removed by digger.

Tanks containing 5,000 litres of diesel and 3,500 litres of kerosene ruptured, spilling their contents on to the ground, but they were not involved in the fire.

One industrial acetylene cylinder and one industrial oxygen cylinder were involved.

Firefighters used a water shuttle using street hydrants in Widecombe and Haytor and an open water source.

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