Suspicious fire at St Johnston farm
A suspicious fire has totally destroyed a 12,000 sq ft shed, machinery and thousands of tonnes of crops at an outlying farm in Legnatraw, St Johnston.
Owner John Moody, was away in Strabane when the blaze broke out. He said yesterday: "The farm is about three miles from our house at Momeen. I was away but a neighbour, who lives about two fields over from the shed, rang me at 3.15pm to ask if I was burning rubbish. I knew right then there was a problem. My son David, who works the farm with me, and I went there as quickly as we could."
Four units of the fire brigade attended, with two engines arriving at 3.40pm on Saturday and a further two units arriving later. Fire crews were on scene until 4.30 Sunday morning.
Mr Moody says it's too early to put an estimate on the cost of the damage, which was considerable. "An entire 12,000 ft square shed has been destroyed. I've lost 1,500 big square bales of straw, 10 tonnes of seed barley that we were keeping to sow in the spring and 18 tonnes of wheat. On top of that, two tractors were completely destroyed, as well as a number of trailers and a manure spreader. A lot of other equipment was very badly damaged."
Gardai have confirmed they are treating the fire as suspicious, and investigations are continuing
Mr Moody commented: "The guards were here all Saturday night and most of Sunday investigating. There is no electricity within 200 yards of the shed and the fire didn't start near the tractors. People can draw their own conclusions from that. Yes, I think it's suspicious enough. I think it should be highlighted. I don't want the people who did this to think I'm going to keep quiet."