Ramsey ditch fire blamed on pigeon fireball

10:35 11 March 2013

Ramsey ditch fire

Ramsey ditch fire

Archant

OVERHEAD cables touched under the weight of perched pigeons causing an explosion which sent them hurtling to their death in a giant fireball and set fire to the ditch below.

This extraordinary event in Benwick Road, Ramsey Forty Foot, on February 22, was witnessed by Ron Laverick who says it was reminiscent of Alfred Hitchcock’s film The Birds.

Mr Laverick, of Benwick Road, Ramsey Forty Foot, said: “Sparks went everywhere, some pigeons were incinerated, others dropped into the ditch and the fire raged.

“A few pigeons settled on the top wire and then more and more followed. Soon there were 30 pigeons perched there, then 30 more, then 50 more, until there must have been 400 pigeons on there.

“The overhead cable had two wires, one hanging about 12 inches above the other.

“The top wire was sinking lower and lower because of the weight of the pigeons but still more came, until unlucky pigeon 615 landed, the wires touched and there was a massive explosion.

“We could not believe what we were witnessing. It was like a scene from that Hitchcock film The Birds.”

A Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “When we got there a witness did say they saw pigeons on the line.”

A fire investigation officer originally said the cause of fire was an electrical pylon fault.

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