Woodyard blaze was ‘deliberate’

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FIRE crews spent four hours fighting a blaze after a suspected arson attack on a Dearne yard containing up to 20 tonnes of wood chippings.

Smoke billowed from the fire which was reported in the early hours of the morning on Bank Holiday Monday at a site on Pastures Road in Mexborough.

A crew from Edlington Fire Station and two from the Dearne station were sent to the scene just before 6am and arrived to find what was described by firefighters as a “deep seated blaze.”

Officers said the fire had broken out in what was believed to be a Doncaster Council storage site.

A spokesman for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service said the blaze was being treated as deliberate arson because of the nature and remote location of the incident.

Diggers had to be brought in to help put the fire out by separating out the wood chips, which were smouldering below the surface.

The brigade spokesman said: “The fire did cause a lot of smoke but thankfully there were no residential properties nearby.

“An investigation has been conducted and it is believed to have been started deliberately.”

Crew manager Mark Hunt said: “The flames were minimal, because these things burn below the surface.

“We needed the wood chips to be spread out to get to them. The council mobilised one of their contractors, who brought a digger to help by pulling the chippings apart while we poured water on.”

Crews were further hindered because of the remote location of the incident.

No water hydrants were near the site, so two of the fire engines had to be sent to fill up with water in nearby Cadeby, while the other hosed the chippings.

But no roads had to be closed, despite the smoke generated by the fire.