FIRE crews tackled a massive hay barn blaze which caused an estimated £70,000 worth of damage.

School pupils were kept indoors and a road was closed as a result of the incident at Overton Road, Marchwiel on land farmed by Neville Rees.

Mr Rees believes the fire, reported at 4.10am on Friday, may have been arson. But North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said although the cause had yet to be established, it did not appear suspicious.

A spokesman said two appliances from Wrexham, the aerial platform ladder and an appliance from Deeside had attended the scene.

She added: “As part of our actions, we had to take into account fertiliser may have been present.”

Mr Rees, who was alerted to the blaze by a neighbour, said: “I’m concerned it may have been started deliberately. I think the damage could be over £70,000.”

Mr Rees spent 10 hours moving hay out of the barn on Friday and thanked firefighters for their efforts.

Thick black smoke billowed from the scene throughout the day and covered a section of the village, including the site of Ysgol Deiniol.

Headteacher Terry Walker said: “The intensity of the smoke varied a great deal. On a couple of occasions we felt it best to get the children in from outside when it was particularly thick.”

Crews returned to the barn at 6pm on Friday after smouldering embers re-ignited.

They performed a final check at the site on Saturday morning.

A HEDGE was torched in Llay on Friday night.

The fire, on Council Street, was started just after 9pm.