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Farmer speaks of ‘devastating’ barn fire

[A] FARMER has spoken of a ‘devastating’ barn fire which police are investigating as an arson attack.

David Walker, 65, could only look on as 400 bales of straw, a tractor, trailer, fertiliser spreader and a bin of grain were engulfed in flames and completely destroyed on November 22.

The blaze at Satley Farm in County Durham took dozens of firefighters more than 24 hours to distinguish. The fire was only feet away from a barn containing cattle which managed to remain unscathed.

Mr Walker said: “It has had a drastic impact on us. We are all absolutely gutted.

“We’ve never had anything like this happen to us before and it’s been difficult to comprehend.”

The family-run farm has been passed down from generations when Mr Walker’s great-grandfather first took residence in 1880.

Mr Walker said: “It will take a while but we will build it back up, we will keep going, we have to for my son and grandchildren. My granddaughter who is 14 and grandson who is 2 already love anything to do with farming.”

A spokesperson for Durham Constabulary said: “This is a suspected arson attack and our investigations are continuing.

“Hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage has been caused. This is somebody’s livelihood which has gone up in flames.

“We would encourage anyone with information in regards to the fire or who saw any suspicious activity in the area at the time to contact police on 101, quoting incident number 455 of November 22 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

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