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Unusual bonfire in Winchester as woman burns mobile home
5:01pm Wednesday 7th November 2012 in Winchester
A VERY unusual bonfire burned in Winchester on Monday night (Nov 5).
While families around the city set fire to great lumps of wood, Sharon May burned her mobile home on her alpaca farm.
But after learning it would £2,000 to have it removed, she said she was forced to set it ablaze.
She said: “I was left with no other choice as it would cost too much to remove each unit and I would have had to remove all my fencing too. I tried selling it but was told it was too old so burning it was the only viable option.
“It was very upsetting; I was burning my house and I was in tears. I don't know what's going to happen to me now. I'm staying with family in Winnall at the moment but I am speaking to the council about being moved into a flat.”
Although the fire was controlled, Hampshire Fire & Rescue were called to the blaze by a neighbour on Monday night.
Watch manager Chris Roper said two pumps from Winchester attended: “We took action as the fire was way out of control and it was potentially threatening trees and there were horses nearby.”
A council spokesman added: “We will check it out this week. It looks like the original breach has ceased, but we will investigate whether the demolition has created an untidy site which would be a planning breach.”
Sharon confirmed she would remove the wreckage as soon as possible.
She has recently separated from her husband, Michael Lee, who was fined by magistrates in August for ignoring an enforcement notice after installing the home without permission.
It was first ordered to be removed by February 2012, but subsequent council inspections showed it was still there.
In August Mr Lee argued in court that he needed the home to run the alpaca farm.
But a government inspector had already ruled there was no justification for it.
Sharon also pleaded guilty to breaching the enforcement notice at Basingstoke Magistrates' Court last month and was fined £600 and ordered to pay £400 costs.