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Arson is blamed for fire which destroyed 20 acres of barley at farm

Firefighters have said arson is to blame for a fire which ripped through farmland, destroying 20 acres of barley.

Firefighters from Rainton Bridge were called to tackle a blaze at Little Eppleton Farm in Hetton at 7.16pm on Sunday.

The blaze at Little Eppleton Farm. Photo by Lisa Tempest.

The blaze at Little Eppleton Farm. Photo by Lisa Tempest.

Crews used one hose reel jet and four breathing apparatus to put out the flames.

Firefighters were also helped by the farmer who used his plough to prevent the fire from spreading further, but despite their combined efforts a large amount of the crop was still destroyed.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has said the blaze was caused deliberately.

A fire service spokesman said: "Rainton Bridge firefighters were called out to Little Eppleton Farm, in Hetton where 20 acres of barley had been completely destroyed by fire.

Fire crews on scene of the fire at Little Eppleton Farm. Pic by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

Fire crews on scene of the fire at Little Eppleton Farm. Pic by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

"The farmer helped us out by using his plough to help prevent the fire from spreading further.

"Shockingly, this was a deliberate act which - as well as ruining the farmer's crop - could have caused untold damage to life and property."

Fire crews on scene of the fire at Little Eppleton Farm. Pic by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

Fire crews on scene of the fire at Little Eppleton Farm. Pic by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.