A HUGE fire ripped through a barn in Whitegate on Saturday night causing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Gas cylinders exploded and 100 tonnes of barley and hay went up in flames when the blaze broke out in Swallow Farm, off Dalefords Lane, about 9.40pm.
Hi-tech farm machinery, trailers and a fleet of tractors were destroyed, including a special edition tractor valued at £100,000.
Jamie Leigh, the son of Swallow Farm owner Ted Leigh, said: “There were only 27 of them ever made and I’d spent five years restoring it. To watch it go up in smoke was heartbreaking.”
Police have launched an investigation into how the fire started.
Det Con Colin Westgate said a number of gas cylinders exploded as firefighters tackled the blaze.
“There’s a lot of damage,” he said. “The adjoining barns were also completely destroyed along with everything in them.”
Although the farm is secluded, a narrow lane runs close by. It is thought fireworks were being let off from the road around the time the blaze began.
“It’s not a definite cause, but it’s certainly a line of inquiry we’ll be following up,” said DC Westgate.
“We want to know who was on the lane that night, even if there is an innocent explanation.”
Anyone with information about the fire can call Det Con Colin Westgate on 01244 613254.