Fire at the Balehouse!

A fire broke out at the Golden Hill Ecohouse (aka the Balehouse) on Friday 26th May. Fortunately, thanks to the quick intervention of Pete Clee, the fire service were on the scene within ten minutes and saved the structure from being completely destroyed.

However, there was significant damage to the electrical system, which is powered by the solar panels on the roof of the Balehouse. The solar panels survived, but the whole of the electrical circuitry, the wiring and the batteries that are used to store the electricity were damaged irreparably.

    A consequence of the fire is that we now have no electricity to pump up water from the well to the holding tanks at the tip of the site. Any water now used from the troughs or taps will be metered mains water which we have to pay for. Members are requested to only water their plots when necessary.

The source of the fire is as yet unknown, but suspicion falls on a mousehole which was seen to appear a few weeks before! One theory is that a mouse may have bitten into the electrical wires causing a short-circuit; alternatively a hole in the mud plaster surrounding the straw bale walls could possibly be a source of oxygen which could fuel a fire within the straw bales.

  We are now in touch with our insurers who will be assessing the damage and calculating what we can claim to repair the damage to the straw bale structure and to the electrical supply.