HUNDREDS OF tonnes of straw and hay were destroyed when a fire ripped through a barn.

Firefighters were called to a barn on fire at a farm close to Rowley, near Consett, early on Thursday morning.

Two fire crews from Consett and one fire crew from High Handenhold, near Stanley, were sent to the scene at 2.50am and arrived to find the building engulfed in flames.

A spokesperson for the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service said: "Firefighters arrived at the scene to find a barn, 30m by 40m, well alight. It contained 300 tonnes of baled hay and 100 tonnes of baled straw.

"Two jets were in place as a safety precaution, but were not in use. The fire was allowed to burn out under supervision."

Firefighters have left the farm but are visiting it regularly to monitor the scene. 

The cause of the fire is not known.