Farmer left heartbroken over local farm blaze

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Hundreds and thousands of pounds worth of equipment and crops were destroyed in a farm building blaze in Stonehaven earlier this week.

Around 30 firefighters were called to tackle the flames at Dunnottar Mains at around 2.30pm on Monday.

Local residents were warned to keep their windows and doors closed to avoid the billowing smoke and the A92 road near Dunnottar Castle was closed due to decreased visibility in the area.

Flames spread quickly throughout the building which contained barley, hay, a grain dryer and the farmer’s new combine harvester.

Nearby piles of tyres were set alight when sparks from the asbestos roof landed on them and damaged around 800 tonnes if silage, however it is unclear how the fire originally started.

Farmer Len Duguid had been working in a field near Stonehaven for about 15 minutes when he noticed the smoke coming from the barn.

The 63-year-old raced home but staff at Dunnottar Castle had already raised the alarm and the Stonehaven fire crew arrived within ten minutes.

Mr Duguid ran inside the burning building and rescued the Manitou, which was beside his new combine harvester which was already alight.

Many nearby farmers arrived at the scene to offer their help and try and save some of Len Duguid’s farm but fire crews from Stonehaven, Inverbervie, Dyce and Aberdeen’s Altens and Central stations managed to get the blaze under control.

Grampian Fire and Rescue Service watch manager John Strachan said they were successful in stopping the fire spreading but the barn appears to be a loss.

The flames were extinguished by about 4.30pm but crews remained at the scene until late on Monday night.

Mr Duguid, who had just finished harvesting on Sunday night, expressed his heartbreak and devastation over the blaze but said it was just as well the wind was blowing from the east as there are cattle in a separate shed to the east of the building that went up in flames.

The local farmer had just bought his new combine harvester, which was destroyed in the blaze, earlier this year.

Mr Duguid has worked on the 240-acre farm for 45 years and said this is the first time anything like this has happened to him and said the neighbours offering to help was much appreciated.

Investigations were due to continue into the cause of the blaze.