Flames engulf 300 tonnes of straw bales at Northamptonshire animal bedding and feed business

The fire was visible from the A14 and contained 600 large straw bales

Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 4:40 pm
Updated Tuesday, 31st August 2021, 4:42 pm

A Northamptonshire animal bedding and fibre feed business fell victim to a large straw stack fire this morning (August 31).

The blaze took hold at Tilbrook-based business, Sundown Products, in a field just south of the A14 near Thrapston at around 7.20am. Fire crews from Thrapston, Kettering and Rushden were called to the scene where smoke could be seen billowing from the field from the A14.

The straw stack contained around 600 large straw bales and weighed around 300 tonnes. Sundown's baling team had only completed the stack on Saturday, August 28 and it was due to be moved within the next few days due to its highly visible location and proximity to local footpaths.

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The 600 hay bales before and after they were engulfed by flames.

Director at Sundown Products, David Cubitt, says, “A straw stack fire is always very upsetting and, even though the straw was insured, it’s so frustrating for our team who have worked so hard this harvest to bale our straw from local farmers.

“We are grateful that nobody was hurt and extend our thanks to those that reported the fire and the Thrapston, Kettering and Rushden fire crews that worked quickly to extinguish it and prevent the fire from spreading.

“Although it looked like a large stack, it was quite a small amount of bales for our production facility. Customers can be reassured that supplies of horse bedding, poultry bedding, and livestock feed products will be unaffected.”

Firefighters remain on the scene and are continuing to damp down the remains of the fire.

The stack of 600 bales represents around one-and-a-half to two days worth of production at Sundown’s Tilbrook manufacturing facility, which produces chopped and pelleted straw bedding for horses and poultry as well as fibre feed products to the livestock industry.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.