Baler fire could have been much worse says farmer who, with his brother, reacted quickly to blaze at their Cambs farm

PUBLISHED: 15:47 02 September 2019 | UPDATED: 16:25 02 September 2019

Scene of the baler fire at Over last night. Dan Burling and his brother worked quickly and efficiently to douse the baler and de couple it from the tractor. Picture; DAN BURLING

Scene of the baler fire at Over last night. Dan Burling and his brother worked quickly and efficiently to douse the baler and de couple it from the tractor. Picture; DAN BURLING

Archant

Quick thinking by a farming family helped to prevent a straw fire spreading and saved an expensive tractor unit from going up in flames.

Dan Burling was at home last night (Sunday) when a call came through that a baler at work on their land in Church Road was alight and flames were spreading across the field.

Mr Burling rushed to the scene and - helped by his brother - doused the baler with a tanker of cold water whilst it was de-coupled from the tractor.

With fire crews from Huntingdon and Cambridge already on their way the brothers used disc cutting equipment to plough around the edges of the field to stop the fire from spreading.

Mr Burling - who later tweeted 'bad day at the office' - was full of praise for the speed at which fire fighters turned up.

He said that he was alerted to the fire at around 6.30pm and fire fighters stayed late into the evening to ensure the fire was "well and truly out".

Today Mr Burling is counting the cost of the damage to the baler which he hopes can be repaired. A replacement would cost up to £80,000 and he said if the tractor had caught fire the replacement for that would be in excess of £100,000.

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"It is fair to say the incident could have been a lot worse," said Mr Burling.

Around 20 acres of straw was destroyed by the flames.

Mr Burling said the incident was an accident, caused by the baler over heating.

A fire service spokesman said last night: "Crews have brought the fire in Over under control.

"Straw bales are still burning but these are being allowed to burn out themselves under the supervision of the farmer. We advise keeping doors and windows closed if smoke is still affecting your property"

In a later update the fire service said: "The fire has now been brought under control. A pile of straw bales are still burning but are being allowed to burn out themselves under the supervision of the farmer.

"Smoke may still affect residents in Over while the bales burn out. We advise keeping doors and windows closed if the smoke is blowing your way."

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