Epsom fire: 300 bales of straw and hay burn for six hours at Royal Automobile Club

Around 300 bales of straw and hay caught fire at a private members’ club in Epsom on Saturday night (September 9) and burned for more than six hours.

Fire engines from Epsom and Banstead fire stations, as well as a 19,000 litre water carrier from Leatherhead Fire Station, were sent to the Royal Automobile Club in Woodcote Park at 6.30pm.

Watch Commander Ken Harvey, of Epsom Fire Station, helped tackle the fire and said: “It was 300 bales of straw and hay well alight.

“The cause is unknown at the moment and it could have been where it was damp on the outside and hot in the middle.”

The straw and hay were in an outside storage area when the fire started but no machinery was damaged and no injuries have been reported.

Watch Commander Harvey remained at the scene until around 10.30pm but other firefighters battled on until 1am.

Around 300 bales of straw and hay were on fire

The area was re-inspected at 7am on Sunday morning (September 10) and despite some smouldering the area was declared safe.

Watch Commander Harvey added: “The whole thing was well alight. The on-site digger was used by the club, which spread the fire around to make it easier for us to tackle.

“It was put out properly at around 1am but this morning on re-inspection it was smouldering – just smoking as you would expect.”

The Royal Automobile Club is described as being one of the “foremost private members’ clubs in the world”.

It has regular events, two “beautiful and unique” clubhouses, first-class accommodation, dining and sports facilities.

The estate is set in 350 acres of countryside with two 18-hole golf courses, four squash courts, six floodlit tennis courts, a modern gym, an indoor swimming pool, treatment rooms, restaurants, bars and accommodation.

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