Agricultural firm continues trading after 50 firefighters tackle destructive blaze

Smoke billows from the buildings at Cherry Tree Farm, in Metfield, near Harleston. Picture: Mike Pag

Smoke billows from the buildings at Cherry Tree Farm, in Metfield, near Harleston. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

A Suffolk agricultural firm has been 'overwhelmed' by support following a destructive fire on Suffolk farmland yesterday.

Smoke billows from the buildings at Cherry Tree Farm, in Metfield, near Harleston. Picture: Mike Pag

Smoke billows from the buildings at Cherry Tree Farm, in Metfield, near Harleston. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Mike Page

Despite buildings being badly damaged by the blaze, the company has continued to produce horse and animal bedding at Cherry Tree Farm, in Metfield, near Harleston.

James Foster-Clarke, managing director of Bed-Down, shared his gratitude for support from neighbours, friends, customers and the emergency services.

An investigation continues into the cause of the blaze, which started in a farm building and spread to three other buildings, including a shipping container, during the early hours of the morning.

More than 50 firefighters attended the scene between 2am and 7am, preventing the flames from spreading to a fuel tank and causing further devastation.

Firefighters tackle the farm fire at Metfield.

Firefighters tackle the farm fire at Metfield.


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Crews spent five hours tackling the fire before it was finally brought under control – already having ignited tonnes of chipped straw and machinery.

Ian Mallet, group commander for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'The service worked well as a unit, and with site personnel to remove some of the bedding and machinery from the barns.

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'An incident of this nature consumes a large quantity of water and brings with it a large resource requirement.

'We were able to draw water from a local pond but the nearest street hydrant was about a quarter-of-a-mile away.

Firefighters tackle the farm fire at Metfield.

Firefighters tackle the farm fire at Metfield.

'While dealing with the fire, we were mindful of the risk from a nearby fuel tank. We now need to carry out a thorough joint investigation into the cause.'

Mr Foster-Clarke said: 'The fire has set us back but we are still operating and continue to make product.

'We are overwhelmed and very grateful for the support which has been given by our neighbours, friends, customers and of course the emergency services.'

Police are investigating the fire and have asked for anyone with information to call 101, quoting dispatch number 27.

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