Pillar of the Dronfield community devastated after arsonists torch his barn

A community is rallying round to help after arsonists set fire to a barn near Dronfield leaving its 80 year old owner facing a bill of thousands of pounds.

Monday, 4th November 2019, 2:34 pm
The Barn was destroyed by th efire
The Barn was destroyed by th efire

David Cracknell a retired parks manager was devastated after 25 years of work went up in smoke after his smallholding was torched to the ground.

Firefighters from Chesterfield, Dronfield Clay Cross, Bolsover and Stavely tackled the blaze on Friday which happened at around 5pm on Barlow Lees Lane..

The blaze left the stone building completely gutted and destroyed tools and ride on mowers.

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All the lofts containing hay and straw collapsed and steel roof sheets had to be peeled off by the fire brigade.

Mr Cracknel said: "I was devastated - 25 years of hard work have gone into this."

He said he was relieved nobody had been hurt in the blaze. A dozen horses had been moved to safety and chickens had been moved fro the buildings some days before.

The speed at which it accelerated through the buildings suggested it was an arson attack.

Someone had tried to light a fire in the stables in the next field on the same day.

Friend and former Claire Barlow, 50 of New Whittington said: " We are raising money to help David and Sylvia rebuild their smallholding barn which has been burnt by arsonists this week.

"He is an 80-year-old man and a pillar of the community who grows Christmas trees for local people, he cuts and delivers them himself every year. This has been made worse by the fact he was targeted by thieves not two weeks before who stole his tools.There is no way he can rebuild 30 years of work financially or physically by himself.

"David has given a lot to the community over the years so let’s repay the favour and help him. He does anything and everything for anyone! We are all heartbroken for him and want to help him get back on his feet."