Farmer drove blazing hay safely away from homes
A quick-thinking farmer has been praised for averting a potential disaster after driving a blazing trailer through a Devon village.
Philip Martin, of Culmstock, was driving his tractor through Pitt, near Tiverton, when he glanced in the rear-view mirror and saw that his load of hay was well alight.
Concerned that the blaze might spread to a nearby farm, cottages and holiday lets, he carried on driving the burning load for almost half a mile before stopping and calling for help.
Two fire engines from Tiverton attended and tackled the flames, which melted overhead telephone cables, destroyed hedging and shrubs and damaged the tarmac surface.
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One resident said villagers had expressed their "gratitude and appreciation" at the farmer's quick reaction to what might have been a "major fire".
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said it received a call reporting a hay trailer on fire at Pitt Cross Farm.
Crews reported around 17 bales of straw well alight, deploying two hose reel jets, beaters and pitchforks to extinguish the fire.
A spokesman added: "The fire was affecting BT cables and poles, so BT engineers were also requested to attend."
The trailer was severely damaged and the road was temporarily closed.