FIREFIGHTERS spotted a highly explosive fertilizer involved in a Wroughton barn fire and acted quickly to protect it from the blaze. 

A local man has since pleaded guilty to arson.

Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon, Stratton and Westlea fire crews raced to the scene at Warren Farm on Saturday night.

Around five tonnes of baled straw was ablaze, with 200kgs of ammonium nitrate fertiliser close by in danger from the heat. 

Swindon Advertiser: Credit: Royal Wootton Bassett Fire StationCredit: Royal Wootton Bassett Fire Station

A spokesman for Royal Wootton Bassett fire station said: “We were called out at 8.46pm to a barn fire in Wroughton. We used water carrier supplying pumps from other nearby stations to extinguish the flames.”

Police later arrested Matthew Robley, 27, of Manor Close, Wroughton, who was charged with arson. He pleaded guilty at Swindon Magistrates' Court on Monday, when he was released on conditional bail.

He is due to appear to be sentenced on March 23.

A spokeswoman for Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said: “The fertiliser was not involved in fire, it was identified and protected by firefighters. With all farm fires, there are hazards we look for, and fertiliser is one of them.”