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Thousands of french partridges saved from barn fire in Essex

Crews arriving at the incident reported that 50 percent of the barn measuring 100m x 50m, was alight. Credit: Essex Fire and Rescue

Thousands of french partridges were saved by firefighters in Essex after a nearby barn went up in flames.

The barn on Kentish Farm in Sible Hedingham, a small village near Halstead, contained wooden flooring materials and propane gas cylinders.

Essex Fire Service were called to the barn at around 2:30am.

It took seven appliances around seven hours to put out the barn fire and prevent it from spreading to the barn the birds' were in.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage, ECFRS and the police will carry out an investigation.

Sub Officer Darren Hockley from Wethersfield Fire Station said:

"The good news is that no French partridges were hurt as a result of this fire. There were three sheds on the farm and thankfully the one housing the birds was not affected.

"The storage shed on fire contained wooden flooring and two large propane cylinders. Close by, there were thousands of partridges in a second shed and crews worked extremely hard to prevent the fire from spreading there.

"If the fire had reached the poultry shed, I have no doubt the birds would have all died. Crews did an excellent job containing the fire to save the birds. The third shed contained furniture and was unaffected."

The cause of the fire is unknown at this stage, ECFRS and the police will carry out an investigation.

Police renew witness appeal after road crash

Police are urgently trying to contact witnesses who have not yet come forward to a serious road crash in Essex.

It happened on the A131 at High Garrett, between Braintree and Halstead, at 2.15pm on Sunday February 9.

A woman was air-lifted to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridgeshire with life-threatening injuries after a collision occurred between a black Ford KA and a black Mercedes convertible.

The driver of the Mercedes and a passenger from the Ford were taken to Broomfield Hospital but later released.

The woman remains in a critical condition in hospital and we are unable to speak to her. We are, therefore, very keen to speak to other motorists who were in the area at the time and may have seen the collision between these two vehicles or witnessed events leading up to it. We believe there was a queue of traffic at the location when this happened and I am confident that there were people sitting in their cars who have valuable information for our investigation."

– Sgt Damon Bainbridge, Serious Collision Investigation Unit

Fuel theft from ambulance station

An ambulance station has had more than 6,000 litres of fuel stolen from its diesel tank, the equivalent of almost £10,000 worth.

The theft happened over the course of two separate nights at Halstead Ambulance Station.

Rob Ashford, East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) Sector Lead for Essex, said: “This is an absolutely appallingincident and it’s shocking to think that people would be willing to steal froman organisation that is saving lives and helping people on a daily basis."

No-one has yet been arrested for the crime. If anyone has any information, they should contact the investigation team at Halstead Police Station on 101.


Marathon's an Aga saga

Heat is on for marathon runner pulling an Aga cooker Credit: ITV Anglia

A police officer from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire has run a local marathon while pulling a 40 stone Aga !

DCI Pete Digby ran all 26 miles of the Halstead and Essex Marathon in aid of the Afghanistan Trust for hurt soldiers.

The former paratrooper had previously been banned from pulling the Aga called Agatha in the London Marathon. Running partner Paul Milson helped him around the course. They were raising money for the Afghanistan Trust for hurt soldiers.

Boy dies after cancer not spotted in hospital

The parents of a four-year-old boy say an Essex hospital repeatedly failed to diagnose their son's cancer.

Danielle Uren and James Cackett from Halstead say it took four visits to Colchester Hospital before doctors spotted a tumour on their son Mackenzie's spine.

He spent his final weeks at the East Anglian Children's Hospice, where he was visited by the charity's patron, the Duchess of Cambridge shortly before his death.

The hospital trust, one of a number to be investigated for a high mortality rate, have since apologised to the family but the grieving parents say they are considering legal action.

New Foodbank opens in Essex

A new foodbank is opening in Halstead in Essex to provide emergency food to people in crisis.

Supplies at Braintree Food bank

The centre at St Andrew's Church Hall in Parsonage Street will be part of the Braintree Area Foodbank which has been used by 300 people since it opened in April. Besides providing food, volunteers will also offer housing and benefits advice.

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