Snakes alive! Barn fire threat

The scene of the fire
The scene of the fire
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Firefighters helped to protect a collection of snakes after a massive barn fire off the M1.

At its height more than 50 firefighters fought to bring the blaze under control after fire broke out at Newlands Farm Caddington on Sunday.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue received dozens of calls from motorists who had spotted the blaze from the motorway.

The first call was received at 10.43 on Sunday morning.

When fire fighters arrived at the farm they found the barn – filled with about 100 tonnes of straw – one third of which was already on fire.

After bringing the fire under control, the decision was taken with the Environment Agency to let the fire burn itself out.

Since 4pm on Sunday, fire crews rotated during the night to ensure the fire stayed under control.

It was finally put out on Monday

A Beds Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “Because of the fire’s proximity to the M1 and Luton Airport both the Highways Agency and Airport were informed and took appropriate action to warn drivers and pilots of the incident.

“There was no threat to either transport route with the M1 staying open and the airport continuing to operate.

“Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to thank all those who have called about the incident.”

As part of the incident firefighters helped protect a collection of snakes in a building opposite the barn fire by shielded it with a water curtain and other measures.

As snakes only have one lung there was concern for the snakes’ welfare and firefighters assisted the owners of the reptiles in ensuring they were safe.