ARSONISTS caused £70,000 worth of damage and destroyed a historic landmark after setting fire to a dutch barn near Northallerton.

The barn is owned by farmers Lynda and Tony Elsdon from Appleton Wiske.

They were alerted by a neighbour on Friday night that the barn, on Deighton Road, was on fire.

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This followed reports that a small white van had been seen speeding away from the scene minutes before.

Mrs Elsdon said: "It’s such a great shame, it was a real local landmark, we’ve been here forty years, so it must have been here for 80 years.

"I just can’t imagine why anyone would want to do this, we’ve never had problems like this before.

"The one good thing of course is that no one was hurt and there was no stock in the barn, it was full of straw.”

An investigations been launched by North Yorkshire Police who say they were called to the fire at around 8.20pm on Friday (February 15).

Detectives are working with investigators from North Yorkshire fire and rescue.

They want to hear from anyone who saw the fire or anyone acting suspiciously in the area. They would also like to speak to the occupants of the white van seen in the area at around the time of the fire. Call police on 101.

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