Isle of Man News - POSTED Wed 01-09-2010

Stray spark caused massive fire at farm in St Mark's

by John Gregory

Stray spark caused massive fire at farm in St Mark's

A STRAY spark from a welding operation caused the massive fire at Lower Ballachrink Farm in St Mark's yesterday (Tuesday).


Fire crews from Castletown and Douglas were called to the scene at 11.50am and discovered a deep seated fire in vehicles that were being dismantled and it had spread into two adjacent buildings.


Station officer Alan Gawne said: "It was necessary to cool some gas cylinders which were in one of the buildings but not at that stage affected by the fire or radiated heat.


"Sufficient water supplies to tackle the fire were a problem and it was necessary to ferry large quantities from Ballasalla to enable the fire to be extinguished.


"Crews extinguished the fire after approximately an hour but remained in attendance until just before 5pm damping down.


"Extensive damage to 12 vehicles and some stock parts has been caused and both buildings have significant fire damage.


"Manx Gas removed the cylinders for inspection, due to the actions of the crews these cylinders were not damaged by the fire or radiated heat.


"The cause of the fire was a stray spark from a nearby welding operation."


Three pumps from Douglas, one pump from Castletown and one water bowser were sent to the scene.


Two jets, two hose reels and a ground monitor thermal image camera were used in tackling the fire.



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