Arson yobs could have killed me, says Flintshire farmer

Reporter:

Andrew Boyd

A FARMER says he could have been killed when his family home was subjected to an arson attack.

A fierce blaze at Bodlondeb Farm, Greenfield, in the early hours of Saturday gutted the barn near the main entrance off Mostyn Road.

It destroyed the building and thousands of bales of hay and came close to spreading to neighbouring farm buildings and houses.

Yesterday farm owner David Williams was joined by staff and friends who were working in the rain to clear the area devastated by a fire that North Wales Police say they are treating as “suspicious”.

Mr Williams, 67, who has lived and worked at the farm almost all his life, said: “People could have been killed by this fire. I hope those responsible know how much damage they have caused.

“It is fortunate nobody was in the barn when this fire happened and no animals were in there.

“In another eight to 10 weeks our cattle would have been in there for the winter and we would have lost them.”

Mr Williams does not yet know the likely costs he will face to overcome the damage. Assessments are currently being carried out.

He told the Leader his farm had frequently been the target of anti-social behaviour in recent years including alleged thefts, break-ins and movement of cattle.

“There is no real motive for why they want to cause us so much trouble,” he said.

“I would like to see the police have more powers to apprehend those who cause us problems and for stricter deterrents to be in place to stop these people reoffending. I fear those behind this will come back again.

“I am really up against it here. There is a group that seems intent on causing trouble and making it difficult for us.”

Mr Williams, who described what was left of the barn as being “like a skeleton”, said he awoke shortly after 6am on Saturday to find the barn ablaze.

“It was quite frightening. It was like a nightmare. I could hear this crackling and burning and rang 999 as soon as I realised what was happening.

“I am lucky to have some very good friends who have come down and offered to help out.”

One of the friends assisting with the clear-up operation was Glyn Boyes, 70, of Ffynnongroyw.

He said: “I am disgusted by what has happened. This is the worst incident like this I can remember here.

“There is a house right next door and it is fortunate it did not spread there. Fortunately there was no electrical equipment in the barn as that could have made things so much worse.”

Two special appliances helped tackle the fire, which was put out shortly before 4pm on Saturday after more than nine hours.

Anyone with information on the incident should contact North Wales Police on 0845 6071001 (Welsh language), 0845 6071002 (English), 101 if in Wales, or
Crimestoppers in confidence on 0800 555111.

See full story in the Leader

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