Firefighters commandeered a nearby businessman’s mechanical digger to help them fight a barn blaze on the outskirts of Melton, which broke out yesterday (Tuesday) and is still burning more than 24 hours later.
Two crews from the town station attended the scene, at a derelict farm on Nottingham Road at 4.34pm.
A barn containing 200 bales of hay was well alight when they arrived, with strong flames and thick black smoke billowing over the area.
They realised that the bales needed to be broken up quickly to prevent the fire taking even greater hold.
Crews asked a nearby tyre recycling business if they could use their digger to break up the hay bales.
Scott Smith, one of the Melton firefighters on duty, said: “We have to say a big thank you to Mr Brown who came down to the scene with his digger to assist us.
“He spent four hours with us as we fought the fire.
“It was a 12-hour job rather than a five-day job because Mr Brown let us use the digger.”
The Melton crews continued to battle the blaze with reel and hose jets for four hours before being relieved overnight by firefighters from Leicester.
More work was done yesterday to damp down.
Scott said: “The fire was deep-seated and a bit of air was getting through to it.
“There were some gas cylinders at the rear of the barn which concerned us and they had to be removed.”
A spokesperson for Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The initial emergency call was received from a member of the public who reported a barn involved in fire.
“Crews confirmed that this was an open barn containing 200 bales of hay. “
The farm is believed to be owned by Leicestershire County Council and the barn was being rented for storage.