AN arson probe has been launched into a blaze which caused thousands of pounds of damage to a New Forest barn from which a battery was stolen.
Firefighters responded as flames engulfed approximately 100 hay bales and machinery within the timber and metal outbuilding, with attached stables and workshop, in Pitmore Lane, Pennington, around 11.20pm last Friday.
No livestock were inside the 10-metre x 20-metre structure when the emergency took place, a Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesperson said.
Equipped with breathing apparatus, crews from Lymington, New Milton, Brockenhurst and Beaulieu spent over two hours battling the Pennington barn fire.
A Hampshire Police spokesperson confirmed the incident was being treated as an arson and added the battery was reported to have been taken at the same time.
Anyone with information should contact Hampshire Police on 101, quoting crime reference number 44190118684, or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.