Turkeys avoid an early roasting as blaze destroys farm building
A SHED full of turkeys were saved as firefighters battled a blaze on a farm near Petersfield.
Hundreds of the plump poultry were evacuated after the raging fire at Hermitage Farm threatened their shed nearby.
A witness said watching the gobble of turkeys destined for the oven being herded to safety had been a “spectacle.”
The blaze was in the John Clark Joinery workshop where furniture, kitchens, doors and windows are made, and bespoke interior and exterior designs completed.
Inside the 25 metre by 25 metre workshop on the farm at Colemore were hand tools, wood working machines, and related equipment, and wooden goods being put together by the six workers.
Mr Clark said: “We have built the business up over 13 years, and it was a horrible shock watching it go up in smoke so quickly. Thankfully no one was hurt, which is the main thing.
“We can’t do anything now because of Christmas, but we aim to be up and running again as soon as possible in the new year.”
A woman walking her dog on Stoner Hill at about 7am last Wednesday (December 19), saw fire engines on their way to the farm, just past the John Seale offices, about midway between the Trooper Inn and the Alton crossroads.
She said: “Their lights were flashing, but no sirens, I heard there had been a fire at a farm on the road from the pub toward Alton.”
Fire crews from Petersfield, Alton, Alresford, Bordon, Basingstoke and Eastleigh were called out to help battle the blaze raging through the workshop. Amid fears it might spread, fireman and farm workers moved the birds to another shed on the farm owned by John Nicholson, described as a livestock and poultry producer.
Firemen using main water and compressed foam jets, and wearing breathing apparatus, had the fire out by about 10am.
It left the workshop gutted and a farm machine burnt out, but the turkey shed was only slightly damaged.
Fire service group manager Brian Rudman said: “It appears to have started in the workshop, which was flanked by other buildings.
“It completely destroyed the workshop, and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
“Our crews quickly contained the fire and did extremely well in stopping it spreading and helped herd about 250 turkeys to a safe building and all the birds survived.”
Farmer John Nicholson was unavailable for comment.
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Weather for Petersfield
Wednesday 11 December 2013
Temperature: 2 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 7 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South west