FIREFIGHTERS have spent more than 24 hours battling a large blaze at a barn in North Dorset.

At around 10.45am on Saturday crews were scrambled to a barn near Marnhull.

A spokesman from Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said on-call crews from Sturminster Newton, Shaftesbury, Gillingham, Blandford, Sherborne and Verwood were called to the scene.

The spokesman said: “A significant amount of hay caught alight and both the barn and the hay were completely destroyed.

“Some livestock was rescued from the building.”

The crews battled the blaze throughout the day and night. One crew remained at the scene this afternoon dampening down.

Further inspections are due to be carried out this evening to ensure the fire was fully extinguished.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

Yesterday firefighters began an eight-day strike as part of an ongoing dispute with the government over pensions.

Permanent fire crews are due to strike between 12pm and 2pm and 10.59pm to 11.59pm every day until Saturday, August 16.