Three schoolboys arrested on suspicion of arson – as firefighters continue to tackle 40-hour fire at Offley farm

Angels Farm damping down. Credit: Kate Bahnsen.

Angels Farm damping down. Credit: Kate Bahnsen. - Credit: Archant

Three Offley schoolboys have been arrested by police on suspicion on arson after a huge fire at a farm near Hitchin this week.

Angels Farm fire. PICTURE: Mark 'Budge' Burgess.

Angels Farm fire. PICTURE: Mark 'Budge' Burgess. - Credit: Archant

At its peak the blaze at Angels Farm in Kings Walden Road – which started at around 5.45pm on Tuesday, and is still ongoing – had more than 40 firefighters and eight fire engines on the scene.

Such was the ferocity of the inferno it destroyed 950 tonnes of hay and a barn. Brave firefighters also helped save around 30 cattle by shepherding them away from the scene.

Water from a nearby lake was used because water levels in the area had dipped dramatically due to the sheer amount used by firefighters to quell the blaze.

Two 14-year-old boys and a 13-year-old boy have been bailed until November while the police investigation continues.

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Inspector Duncan Sales from the North Herts Safer Neighbourhood Team said: “The blaze has caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and firefighters remain at the farm today, dampening down the fire.

“The police take arson very seriously and three people have been arrested in connection with this incident.”

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He added: “I’d encourage parents to speak to their children about the dangers and consequences of arson.

“Anyone involved in this type of crime is putting themselves and others at risk and they could also end up with a criminal record, which will have a long term impact on their future.”

A spokesman for the fire brigade confirmed the fire is still ongoing – after more than 40 hours – but is in the damping down stage.

If you have any information on this fire call 101 quoting crime reference G1/16/2466.

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