Farm fires ‘not malicious’

Longnewton Farm Fire at 7am as it lit up the darkness on 22nd January 2015
Longnewton Farm Fire at 7am as it lit up the darkness on 22nd January 2015

Willful fireraising has almost certainly been ruled out as the cause of large, early-morning blazes on two farms.

Barns and their contents were destroyed at Purvishaugh Farm near Earlston and Longnewton Farm near St Boswells last Thursday.

Fire at Longnewton Farm near St Boswells.

Fire at Longnewton Farm near St Boswells.

The fires were discovered just an hour apart – raising suspicions that they had been started deliberately.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland launched a joint investigations into the outbreaks.

On Tuesday a spokeswoman for the fire and rescue service told The Southern: “The fires were not thought to be willful.

“They were investigated but there was no evidence to suggest they were malicious.

Fire at Purvishaugh Farm near Earlston. West Linton fire brigade in attendance.

Fire at Purvishaugh Farm near Earlston. West Linton fire brigade in attendance.

“It is impossible to say the exact cause of the fires due to the damage.

“We don’t know the cost of the damage as that is not information we get.”

The first alert was to Purvishaugh Farm at 18 minutes past midnight. Crews from Galashiels and Lauder found a large hay shed well alight and called for back-up. They battled throughout the night and into the morning to bring the blaze under control and prevented flames spreading to nearby buildings. Crews from Peebles, and Duns as well as a second unit from Galashiels were involved in fighting the fire.

Shortly before 1.30am fire was discovered in an open shed containing around 500 tons of straw and hay at Longnewton Farm.
Crews from Jedburgh, Selkirk and Kelso were called out to tackle the blaze with later support coming from Innerleithen, Hawick, Dalkeith and Penicuik.

Fire at Purvishaugh Farm near Earlston. West Linton fire brigade in attendance.

Fire at Purvishaugh Farm near Earlston. West Linton fire brigade in attendance.