SIX fire crews were required to tackle a large blaze which completely gutted a barn.

Firefighters from Colchester, Clacton, Manningtree, Brightlingsea, Frinton and Weeley were called to Little Clacton Road, Great Holland, at 11.45am yesterday.

When they arrived, the crews discovered a farm building measuring 30 metres by 40 metres, which was completely alight.

It was also established the barn contained a number of cylinders and approximately 1,000 litres of waste oil which had leaked onto the ground.

After devising a plan to tackle the fire, the crews surrounded the building and used a number of hoses to tackle the blaze and reduce the risk.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

By 1.30pm the fire had been safely extinguished, but the fire crews remained on the scene to ensure all potential hotspots were completely put out and would not flare up again.

During the operation the firefighters also ensured all waste water from the fire was contained so it did not pose an environmental risk.

It currently remains unknown how the fire started, but an investigation will now be launched to established what happened.

A spokesman for the Essex Fire Service said: “An investigation will take place to find the cause of the fire.”

Simon Root, 37, of Clacton, was driving through the area at the time of the fire.

He said: “I saw the smoke from Kirby as I was travelling that way between jobs.

“It was black and there was lots of it, but it was not obscuring the road.

“As I passed the farm there was one fire engine there with two firefighters attaching hoses to the hydrant in that road.

“Then a second engine passed me from the Clacton direction.

“A friend of mine has a unit on the farm, so I called him to let him know that it was the front right area alight and not the new units he leases so he didn’t panic.

“The area on fire appeared to be a fair size and I would estimate about half a football pitch.”