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UPDATE: Firefighters save dairy business from barn blaze
A FIRE that ripped through a barn on the edge of Knutsford narrowly avoided destroying a successful dairy business thanks to the efforts of the town’s firefighters.
Firefighters from Knutsford, Wilmslow, Northwich, Holmes Chapel, Congleton, Winsford and Crewe tackled the huge blaze, which broke out in a barn on Bexton Lane at 8.40am on Sunday.
The 50-metre square barn was located next to Delamere Dairy, which exports goats milk products around the globe and has products for sale in major supermarkets, including Tesco and Co-operative.
The fire had spread to hay stored in an adjacent area, and the crews worked on all four sides of the barn using hose reel jets. Crews also worked to stop the fire from spreading to an adjacent cornfield.
Hose reels had to be stretched all the way down Bexton Lane towards Bexton Primary School, where the nearest hydrant is located.
Eyewitnesses said the smoke could be seen as far away as Holmes Chapel, and town residents reported smoke in the air when they awoke on Monday morning – 24 hours after the fire began.
We are very thankful that it didn’t, and we’ve been told we were very lucky. The important thing is that everybody here is fine.Jenni Danby
Staff at the dairy told the Guardian that firefighters had saved their offices after they arrived before the second pane of the double-glazed window smashed.
The blaze was so intense it was still smouldering on Monday afternoon when the Guardian went to visit the site.
Jenni Danby, spokesperson for Delamere Dairy, said the company was saved by a pane of glass.
“One pane of the window smashed but the other one didn’t,” she said.
“We are very thankful that it didn’t, and we’ve been told we were very lucky. The important thing is that everybody here is fine.”
Rob Milnes, the officer in charge of the incident, said: “When we arrived we were confronted with a large fire involving the barn and a nearby storage facility.
“The firefighters did a great job in containing the blaze and preventing it from fire spreading into neighbouring fields.
“At the height of the fire we had eight fire engines at the scene.
“The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but at this stage is believed to have started accidentally.”
The barns are owned by the Crown Estate, and are rented by a local farmer.