FIRE investigators are appealing for information after a wooden barn containing baled hay was destroyed.

The fire, on agricultural premises, off Ingleton Road, near Staindrop, on Friday October 15, is now believed to have been started deliberately.

Fire crews from Bishop Auckland and Barnard Castle responded to the report of a burning barn shortly after 7.40pm.

On arrival they found the 20x20m timber and tin-made barn, plus a number of hay bales, well alight.

Using hose reels they managed to bring it under control and the incident was concluded at about 11pm, by which time the barn and about 60 to 70 bales of hay were destroyed.

With the cause now considered to have been a deliberate act, the public have been asked to assist the inquiry.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Firestoppers, either online, via www.firestoppersreport.co.uk, or by ringing the Firestoppers’ line, anonymously, on 0800-169 5558.