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September 14 2011. 

Police want to speak to three 'smoky' teenagers after fire ripped through a barn near Beddingham last Friday afternoon, (September 9).

Firefighters were called to the scene just off the A26 between Lewes and Newhaven around 4pm. The barn, belonging to Court House Farm was well alight, resulting in the destruction of approximately 200 tonnes of straw being stored for animal feed and bedding over the winter, along with some farm machinery. The cost of replacement is estimated at £21,000, plus the rebuilding costs of the barn itself.

The fire burned for more than 24 hours and thick smoke resulted in the closure of the A26 during rush hour on Friday afternoon.

Immediately before the fire, three youths were seen on the bales in the barn. Three young people were also seen cycling away from the area in the immediate period after the alarm was raised. They are described as white and in their late teens, wearing dark hooded tops, one with a white top beneath. All were on mountain or rockhopper-style bicycles. They were last seen cycling north from the barn on A26 towards the Beddingham roundabout.

Detective Sergeant Dave Tye from Newhaven CID said: "We would like to speak to these youths or anyone who may have seen them in the area on Friday afternoon. It is highly likely that anyone who was in or around the barn at the time would have had straw or hay on their clothes and may well have been smelling of smoke. I would also appeal to parents who may have noticed their children returning home that afternoon or evening who meet the descriptions to give us a call."

Contact 0845 60 70 999 quoting serial 1146 of 09/09.