Family counts cost of major farm blaze

Allison Lawrence with a two-day old lamb, one of the lucky ones following the fire at Blackpots Farm near Auchnagatt.
Allison Lawrence with a two-day old lamb, one of the lucky ones following the fire at Blackpots Farm near Auchnagatt.

An Aberdeenshire family is coming to terms with the loss of livestock and machinery in a fierce fire.

More than 50 sheep, including dozens of lambs, perished in the blaze at Blackpots Farm, near Auchnagatt, a week past Sunday.

A combine harvester was also destroyed in the inferno in outbuildings.

The loss of the sheep and lambs has particulary devastated Raymond Lawrence, who runs the farm with father Norman.

Fire crews from throughout Aberdeenshire battled the outbreak and it is understood the animals were in a Dutch barn.

Seven appliances took several hours to bring the blaze - confirmed as accidental - under control.

Raymond’s wife, Allison, said they were coming to the end of the lambing season and the incident was “heartbreaking”.

She added: “We are trying to work through this but it is such a shock and it is so upsetting.”

Mrs Lawrence praised the support they had received from the local area and the farming community.

She said: “It has been amazing and we are extremely grateful for people rallying round at such a difficult time.”

A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said “The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to a report of a fire affecting farm buildings near Ellon on Sunday, April 30, at 7.04pm.

“A total of seven fire appliances were mobilised to the incident.

“Crews wearing breathing apparatus brought the flames under control with the aid of high-powered hoses.

“Firefighters left the scene after ensuring the safety of the area.”.

Units from Ellon, Peterhead, Maud, Fraserburgh, Aberdeen and Stonenhaven were called in to deal with the blaze, which could be seen for miles around.