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Arson probe at fireworks event

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: November 03, 2011

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A HUGE blaze at a Hallowe’en fireworks event - which attracted around 2,000 people - is being treated as arson, the Newsletter can reveal.

The fire, at Lower Drayton Farm near Penkridge on Saturday night, saw around 520 bales of hay torched just as a fireworks “Spooktacular” event for families was drawing to a close.

The occupants of two nearby mobile homes which were “dangerously close” to the fire raised the alarm at around 7.56pm and 30 cows were moved. However, no-one was injured.

Now, Staffordshire Police have confirmed they have launched an investigation into the cause of the fire. It is the second time in two years that firefighters have been called to the farm close to bonfire night. Last November crews were called to an Eccleshall Young Farmers’ bonfire, which was staged at the farm.

A police spokesman said: “The cause of the fire had been determined as deliberate ignition. There is now a joint fire service and police investigation under way and we are appealing for anyone witho information to contact us on 0300 123 44 55.” Farm owner,Ray Bower, said: “It was very close to the mobile homes and could have been very serious - we were lucky it wasn’t a lot worse.

“There were about 2,000 people here for the fireworks, but they have been brilliant since the event and we have received a lot of emails of support.” Compressed air foam jets were used to protect surrounding outbuildings from the fire and two crews from Brewood and Codsall kept a watch on the fire overnight.

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