THE owners of a family farm near Whitchurch have thanked firefighters for their swift response after a barn was hit by a fire over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The blaze broke out at J Lea & Son Steele Farm on Sunday (May 28) afternoon.

The owners said they were "devastated" but added that no animals were physically harmed and that an investigation is ongoing into what caused the fire.

Farmer, Martyn Lea, praised the seven fire crews from across Shropshire for their speed at arriving at the scene. 


He said: "The fire crews were very quick and managed to contain the fire very quickly.

"They were very good. We can't thank them enough for how quick they were."

He continued: "We were very lucky. We did have some horses onsite. We moved them because the smoke was so bad. They have been relocated at the moment."

Martyn confirmed the farm remained closed at the moment but he hopes to reopen in a few days time.

He said: "We are closed until we can do some risk assessments and assess the damage.

"It is too early to say when we will open, but hopefully it will be in a few days."

He continued: "We have had a tremendous amount of well wishes and offers of support. It is very nice to see.

"My mother and my wife have both had flowers brought around."

The farm confirmed on Bank Holiday Monday on its Facebook page that they were the farm involved in the incident.

The statement said: "We are sad to announce that the reported local barn fire yesterday was ourselves.

"We are all devastated by this but we can report that we are all safe and well and that all the animals on the farm are all happy and well and have been temporarily re-housed until it is safe for them to come home.

"As soon as the building is safe and secure for us to re-open we will be back up and running.

"We thank you all for all your well wishes and offer of help."

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) confirmed it was at the scene alongside a utility company.

A spokesperson said: "SFRS Fire Control received a call reporting a fire classified as barn fire in Whitchurch.

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"Five fire appliances including the aerial ladder platform, the incident command unit, the incident support unit, the light pumping unit and the water carrier were mobilised.

"Operations and hazmat and safety officers were in attendance.

"Western Power was also in attendance at the incident."