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Oil tanks set on fire with BBQ embers

2010-06-29 16:18:15

A farmhouse in Wales has been damaged in a fire that was caused when a BBQ set fire to a heating oil tank in the garden.

Oil tanks are often used by farmers to heat their homes and to provide energy for the running of the farm. This fire was caused when the embers from a BBQ first set fire to a wheelie bin, which then blew up a nearby oil tank.

The owners of the farm and their children were away at the time and the farm was being looked after by relatives. Local firefighters said the people at the BBQ were lucky to be alive. However, it was not the relatives who were to blame – instead the embers from the discarded BBQ had reignited in the wind and caught fire to the wheelie bin that was nearby.

By 4pm on Friday afternoon, neighbours had reported seeing 30ft plumes of smoke rising from the property.

Huw Roberts from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service explained how the fire occurred: "The embers from a barbecue had been placed near a wheelie bin and had reignited in the wind, setting the bin alight. As it was close to a central heating oil tank the fire spread, causing a vapour explosion and a running liquid fire, which then spread to the house and car."

It is extremely important to store domestic oil tanks and boilers safely. Signing up to a boiler maintenance programme, such as the one available throughTeam Energy, can also help minimise the risk of fire.

The farmers will have good access to replacement oil from local fuel distributors including Bates & Hunt Petroleum in Pwllheli.