Forty tonnes of hay and straw lost in firework blaze

Friends and well-wishers are rallying around a Cambridgeshire yard owner, after a barn fire destroyed around 40 tonnes of hay and straw and a number of stables.

Five horses, including an unhandled foal, were rescued from their stables after the fire — thought to have been caused by a stray firework — took hold.

And yard owner Maggie Harris said she is very grateful for all the offers of help.

“In about an hour the bush telegraph was going and the yard was like Piccadilly Circus,” said Mrs Harris.

I am so touched by the amount of help I have been offered — it’s a disaster but none of the horses was hurt and somehow we will rise from the ashes.”

Fire crews were called to New Manor Farm near Huntingdon at 9pm on Saturday night (3 November).

Mrs Harris, who is deaf, was alerted to fire by a neighbour who was searching for his cat, after hearing fireworks.

The hay barn was well ablaze and the fire had spread to adjacent stables.

Two 16.2hh horses, two 12.2hh ponies and a coloured foal, which Mrs Harris had taken in just a few days before, were herded into a field and firefighters spent the night tending the blaze.

Horses in a separate stable block were unaffected.