10:48AM, Monday 03 August 2020
Firefighters have been working into the early hours of this morning putting out a fire at a farm in Stanwell Road.
About 15 tonnes of straw contained in two metal trailers were ablaze at Berkyn Manor Farm in Horton.
A crew from Langley, a crew from Maidenhead and two crews from Slough attended the scene at 1.37am.
Two pumps left the scene at about 4am and when a single relief pump arrived at 5am the remaining two pumps departed.
A pump is now returning to the scene every two hours to make sure the blaze is out.
Former Royal Borough mayor Colin Rayner, and his cousin Alan, are two directors of the family farm, owned by J Rayner & Sons Ltd.
Colin said: “My cousin Alan answered the phone call, he came down, and then his son, John, worked with the fire brigade for four hours helping them put out the fire, I didn’t get here until 4am.”
The blaze has resulted in the loss of the two straw trailers containing 90 straw bales, which Colin says 'is very short this year', and also two grain trailers.
Each trailer is worth between £10,000 to £15,000 and the straw more than £1,800.
The fire service was alerted to the fire by the control tower at Heathrow airport which is about three miles away from the farm.
“They then phoned the fire brigade, the fire brigade then were looking for the fire and then our farm workers on site were woken by the explosions of the tyres going off, then they were let in by the farm workers, and by that time, my cousin I believe was on the farm.”
He added: “Luckily the fire brigade were very professional and stopped the fire spreading to the farm buildings, the farm offices, the farm house and also the petrol store and gas bottle store, so they did a good job on that.”
Neighbours were also ringing Colin, which he is grateful for, but after a day harvesting, he was ‘spark out’.
Watch Manager Andy Gibbins from Langley Fire Station said: “When you’ve got compacted straw like that it’s very, very difficult to put it out.”
He added: “They’ll [the relief pump] be spreading the straw and identifying hot spots and putting it out that was.”
Colin said local farmers have lent him trailers to get him ‘out of trouble for a couple days’.
“We’re carrying on as normal, we have to as farmers, we’re used to it.”
Colin does not believe it was accidental, or automatic combustion.
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