Owners left 'heartbroken' after fire rips through camp site and destroys 40 caravans- metres away from where people were sleeping

The 'devastated' owners of caravans which were burnt to the ground as a fire ripped through a camp site near Chesterfield have spoken of their shock.

The blaze broke out at around 5.30am this morning (Wednesday, March 27) at Ainmoor Grange Caravan Park on Mickley Lane, Stretton- just metres away from where people were sleeping.

A black plume of smoke could be seen for miles as firefighters from across the county urged residents to keep their windows closed and 'made an aggressive attack' on the fire, which was out by about 9am.

Officers managed to contain the blaze to a storage area of the site so nobody was harmed- but around 40 caravans were destroyed and another 40 damaged by heat, leaving their owners 'heartbroken'.

One woman said her caravan, which she used for holidays, had been in the family 'for generations'.

She said: "It's all we could afford, but it was all we needed- my husband and I and our two little dogs.

The picture of the damage was posted on our Facebook page by caravan owner Marissa Bell.

The picture of the damage was posted on our Facebook page by caravan owner Marissa Bell.

"We live in the area and got a message from a relative this morning, warning us there was a fire.

"We could see it from our window and we just knew. The van was gone."

A man who lives at the site woke up to find three caravans aflame, just metres away from his own van.

A couple who also live at the Grange had already seen the flames through their window and dialled 999.

The fire at its peak. Pic by Derbyshire Police.

The fire at its peak. Pic by Derbyshire Police.

"I could feel the heat from quite far away," he said. "At first just three vans were on fire and it was terrifying how quickly it spread.

"Suddenly there were six or seven fire engines here.

"There's only a wooden fence separating the caravans in storage from the vans people are actually living in."

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue said a joint investigation with Derbyshire Police had been launched to determine the cause of the fire.

Firefighters from across the county were at the scene.

Firefighters from across the county were at the scene.

READ MORE: RESIDENTS URGED TO KEEP WINDOWS CLOSED AS FIREFIGHTERS TACKLE MAJOR BLAZE NEAR CHESTERFIELD

The fire broke out metres away from vans in which people were sleeping.

The fire broke out metres away from vans in which people were sleeping.