Busy road closed as huge straw blaze burns all day

A fire was left to burn out after it destroyed hundreds of tonnes of straw and closed a busy road for more than 24 hours.

Fire crews from Norwich, Sprowston and Earlham and the water carrier from Hethersett were sent to tackle a blaze in Horsford, which started at about 2am yesterday and was still ablaze last night.

Drayton Lane was shut between Holt Road and Reepham Road and was also still closed last night.

Eyewitness Andy Keely, who runs Homestead Kennels about 200 metres away, said: 'My wife was awake and she phoned the fire brigade at about 2.30am but they were already on scene. I struggled outside bleary-eyed to record it on my video.

'It was better than Guy Fawkes' Night. It's incredible that it was burning the whole day.'

The land is owned by Horsford-based Drayton Farms, but was let to Knights Farms, based at Narborough, King's Lynn, to grow carrots.

Steve Mumford, farm manager with Knights Farms, said the fire destroyed two stacks of straw estimated to weigh about 500 tonnes.

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He said: 'The straw stacks were yesterday waiting to be put on top of the carrots to protect them for the winter.

'We will have to buy in a load more, at a cost of about �30,000, which will be covered by insurance.'

Martin Barsby, spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Services, said it was too early to say what caused the blaze.

He said: 'One fire crew from Earlham was left on scene yesterday to maintain a watching brief.'

Meanwhile, fire-fighters were also called to tackle a straw stack fire at Bylaugh, near Dereham, yesterday.

A crew from Dereham attended the blaze at Old Hall Farm just after 5am when 100 tonnes of straw caught alight.

The fire was left to burn itself out and firefighters stayed to dampen down until 9.10am.