Wrexham family’s fright after suspected arson

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A BUSINESSMAN has spoken of his family’s lucky escape from an horrific fire, which investigators believe was started by arsonists.

About 20 firefighters spent four hours battling the blaze which ripped through 40 tons of logs stored for firewood in the yard at Ty Canol Farm in Penycae, which is the base of D&V Fuels.

Also damaged was a conifer hedge and a number of fence posts.

At one point the flames were just 20ft from the farmhouse occupied by the firm’s owner, his wife and four children, including their disabled son.

The drama began just after 2am on Friday when the firewood, stored in an area about 40ft by 12ft and stacked 12ft high, caught fire.

Three pumps from Johnstown and Wrexham fire stations, along with the the environmental protection unit from Wrexham, dashed to the scene deep down a country lane outside Penycae.

D&V Fuels owner Dave Surrey, 42, said: “There were about 20 firemen here and it took them a while to get the thing under control.

“At one point the fire was only about 20ft away from the house.”

Mr Surrey said what made the incident particularly frightening was that his wife Val, 38, disabled son Robert, 20, and daughters, Stephanie, 14, Millie, four and six-month-old Gabrille were in the house with him .

“We were very lucky the fire didn’t reach the house because if it had it would have been very serious,” he said.

“The police and fire service are both investigating because it is believed to be arson.”

The fire was under control by 6.23am and crews left the scene at 10.20am.
Mr Surrey added: “The firefighters had a problem getting enough water because we are so far away from the main road.

“They had to keep sending away fire engines to fill up at the nearest hydrant and then come back to the farm.

“I reckon we have lost about £2,000 of firewood, most of which I was going to sell and some of which we were going to use ourselves.

“We’ve now got a lot of mess to clear up but the main thing is that my family are safe.”

A North Wales Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “When our first crews got there they reported that the logs were well alight.

“We increased the number of appliances to overcome the problem of finding enough water to fight the fire. It is often a problem we have in isolated areas such as this one.

“It looks as this stage as if the fire was caused by deliberate ignition and we are continuing with our investigation.”

Police say they are also investigating the blaze.

See full story in the Leader

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