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Fire details released, 'major incident' declared

Cornwall Fire & Rescue service have released details of this morning's blaze at Peninnis Farm on St Mary's.

A statement reads: "At 0320 this morning a call was received from St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly reporting a fire in a farm building near King Edward's Road. Both appliances from St Mary’s were mobilised and were on scene by 0329 hours.

"A message was received that there was farm building measuring twenty metres by ten metres well alight with oxyacetylene known to be contained in the building. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were deployed and used a main jet but kept a safe distance from the incident. Persons at a nearby campsite were evacuated as a precautionary measure.

"A request was made for back up to assist St Mary’s crews from the off islands. Crews from Tresco, St Martins, St Agnes and Bryher were ferried across by the ambulance boat. Devon & Cornwall Police were in attendance and also the Coastguards were requested to assist crews at the scene.

"At 0459 hours Devon & Cornwall Police declared a ‘Major Incident’ due to decreased resources on other islands and road closures in the vicinity and at that time teams of firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were using two main jets and two high pressure hosereel jets, Western Power were requested to attend the incident as well.

"At 0521 hours a message was received stating that three farm buildings were involved, fire in main building with two buildings coming off, fire contained in main timber clad building with a biomass unit in building, crews were continuing to damp down. Later a ground monitor was set up to cool the cylinder.

"Update 1000 hours: Crews are still damping down at this time and using a Thermal Imaging Camera to monitor for hot spots. Off Island support are now returning to their home stations. A Fire Investigation Officer will be flying out later this morning on the Devon & Cornwall Police Helicopter to carry out an investigation as to the cause of the fire."

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