Brothers hurt as fire rips through Wrexham hay barn

Reporter:

Garth Ap Thomas and Thomas Morton

TWO brothers have been taken to hospital suffering burns after a huge blaze broke out at the site of this year’s National Eisteddfod.

The blaze ripped through a hay barn at Berse Farm on Ruthin Road, on the outskirts of Wrexham, shortly after 2pm yesterday.

A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said the two men, who have not been named, had been working on the farm when the fire broke out.

One has since been transferred to the specialist burns unit at Merseyside’s Whiston Hospital.

The spokesman said: “One has been transferred to Whiston Hospital for assessment, the other has been discharged from hospital with superficial burns.”

Six fire crews were called to battle the blaze and firefighters were still at the scene after the Leader went to press last night.

The barn was reported to contain hay, fertiliser, machinery and tyres.

Young eyewitness Rowan Thomas, 11, from the nearby Bro Deg estate, was on his way home from St Christopher’s School when he saw the fire.

He and a friend went to investigate.

He said: “There was a lot of smoke and the barn buildings were on fire.

“I was only 50 foot away and I could hear dogs howling and sheep and cows.

“There is a huge black cloud over Wrexham. My friend’s lungs were aching because he inhaled the smoke.”

Rowan’s father David Thomas added: “There were thick clouds of black smoke coming over – it was a huge inferno.”

The smoke billowed hundreds of feet into the air, carried along by a strong wind, causing severely reduced visibility across a large area around Ruthin Road.

Members of the public in the town centre reported being able to smell burning.
Diversions were set up for rush hour drivers, taking them away from the scene of the blaze.

North Wales Fire Service’s response manager for Wrexham, Mike O’Meara, said among the priorities for his team was tackling the potential danger from the fertiliser and ensuring a sufficient water supply to deal with the strong, intense flames.

The firefighters used three sources of water, a hydrant, a carrier which provided
8,000 litres and also a brook that flowed through the farm land.

A spokesman for North Wales Police said: “We were called by the fire service at 2.15pm on Monday to a barn fire on Ruthin Road.

“The road was closed at 3pm due to the amount of smoke. The incident is not being treated as suspicious.”

A spokesman for Berse Farm said they were “still dealing” with the fire and were too shocked to comment any further.

- ONE-and-a-half acres of undergrowth went up in flames next to the A5 just outside of Llangollen yesterday.

Three fire crews, including one off-road vehicle, were called to the blaze at around 10.30am.

They used one hose reel, one main jet, as well as beaters and spades to put out the fire, which took most of the day.

A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue said they thought the fire had been started by a discarded barbeque.

- ONE fire crew was called at 6.56pm yesterday to a fire at Gresford Quarry where 30 square metres of undergrowth and tree stumps were ablaze. They also used beaters and shovels to put out the flames.

See full story in the Leader

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