DOZENS of farm animals were moved to safety as fire crews tackled a barn blaze on New Year's Day.

No fewer than six crews attended the incident, at Ponteland Road, Throckley, two miles east of Heddon-on-the-Wall, shortly before midday.

Residents were advised to keep windows and doors firmly shut while crews got the blaze under control.

On Friday evening, the fire service provided more information about the incident, when it emerged crews attended from both Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, and Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

A statement read: "The fire involved a large barn 80m x 30m containing 350 tonnes of hay, 50 sheep and 2.5 tonnes of fertiliser.

"At the height of the fire, surrounding properties were advised to stay indoors and to keep windows and doors closed due to the amount of smoke being created.

"All animals were removed from the barn successfully, with no loss to life. Breathing apparatus and firefighting jets were used to bring the fire under control, while the fertiliser was removed from the barn using farm machinery.

"The fire is now under control and a ‘controlled burn’ is being managed by Northumberland crews. Thanks to Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service for their support, and neighbouring properties for their patience."

Meanwhile, the fire service delivered a new year message to residents.

It read: "As the vaccine rolls out in the new year, we are one step closer to normality, but we've got to keep going.

"By continuing to do our bit, we can support our local businesses, keep our children in school and protect our hospitals and the most vulnerable in our communities."