FORTY five firefighters spent the night tackling a large barn fire in West Hagbourne near Didcot.

Matt Lay was asleep next door to the outbuilding in Manor Farm when it went up in flames at around 10pm.

The son of Chris and Sue Lay, who own the farm, said: "I heard a popping sound when I was just about to go to sleep.

"I looked out of my window and saw flames and smoke, it was pretty big.

"The fire service were very good. They had about eight fire engines come out.

"In the end it was pretty manic.

"It could have been a lot worse, I'm so pleased I spotted it before it could spread any further."

The Lay family have owned the site for three generations. Nicky and Margret Lay are joint owners with Matt's parents.

The outbuilding which set alight used to be the old pig building, but is now used to store cars and quad bikes.

The 32-year-old added: "There were some cars, quad bikes, that type of thing. But there was a lot of timber in there which is why it went up in flames so quickly.

"I spoke to a fire fighter this morning who said that if it wasn’t for the asbestos roof it could have been a lot worse, especially if i hadn't noticed it. "Asbestos cracks and lets the flames out, tin roof on the other hand would conducted and spread further."

Crews from Didcot, Abingdon and Wallingford Fire Stations attended and on arrival found a large multi-use single storey building which housed three separate industrial units involved in fire.

Due the severity of the fire, crews from Wantage, Goring, Eynsham, Wheatley and the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service, were then needed to bring the fire under control. 

Lucy Billen, a spokeswoman for Thames Valley Police, said they had been called by the fire services at around 10.30pm yesterday.

She said: "We were called by the fire services just in case they needed our help but we did not attend.

"Fire services were attending a large farm fire on a barn in Manor Farm in West Hagbourne."

The fire service are resuming their investigations into the cause of the fire this morning, but it is not thought to be suspicious. 

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