A BLAZE started by an out-of-control bonfire spread to a 900-litre oil tank, it emerged today.

Twelve firefighters were called to a Hampshire farm when flames spread to nearby trees and two outbuildings.

It reached the central heating tank at Weston Farm, near Micheldever, causing an oil leak. It is believed much of the fuel burned away.

Now environmental experts are to conduct tests to see if the oil leak has contaminated the area.

Farmer David Stevens said: “It was a very stressful evening. It was garden rubbish and got out of control. It spread to a tree and it was not a good place to have a bonfire. It spread to the oil tank and then got bigger.

“The Environment Agency has been out, and will look for contamination in the soil. They will be dealing with it as they see fit.

As previously reported, Winchester fire crews saved two ferrets from the burning outbuildings and it was thought one of the pets had perished in the blaze which started around 9.45pm on Thursday.

However, Mr Stevens confirmed that another three animals were found safe yesterday morning.

The five ferrets belong to his 19-year-old son, James Stevens.

No-one was injured.

Crew manager Phil Foxton, of Winchester fire station, said: “We urge anyone to keep bonfires attended and to start it away from other flammable items such as trees and sheds.”