New year’s day fire at lammas

All of us at SBUK were devastated to hear of the fire that destroyed Simon and Jasmine Dale’s house in the Lammas Eco village on new years day.

The home was an inspirational house, being built for very little money and a lot of hard work from Simon and a whole league of volunteers. The house used exceptionally low impact materials including straw walls, sheep wool insulation, earth and lime plasters and earthen floors. Being featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs, the house stood as an example to thousands of what can be achieved.


Friends of Simon and Jasmine have set up a crowd-funding page for £50,000 to help rebuild. We urge you all to give a little if you can.


Straw bale house flammability myth


We were also annoyed to see The Telegraph misreporting the event with a classic straw bale myth – “

The house, situated in Lammas eco-village in Pembrokeshire, Wales, was built entirely of reclaimed materials, including glass and timber and insulated with sheep’s wool. But it was also constructed using straw, meaning the fire on January 1 ended up destroying the entire house.”

Jasmine Dale wrote to us saying:

“You’ll be pleased to know the straw and cob walls did not burn. Some stored reclaimed plastic stuff we intended to use under the earth floors downstairs as insulation ignited from a freak electrical fault nearby. The firemen actually knocked all the straw rendered walls down and raked them into the flames, a very strange experience, as they looked so intact!”

Straw bale buildings in Californian wild fires

This ties in with a report from the California straw bale association on the resilience of straw bale buildings during their extensive wildfires. This one example shows the whole house burned down EXCEPT the straw.

Full report here:


Video of official fire testing of straw bale wall


One Comment on “New year’s day fire at lammas

  1. We’re so sorry to hear about the loss of such a beautiful example of natural building, and of course Simon and Jasmine’s home.
    We have also experienced some devastating fires in South Africa recently, including on our neighbouring farm and would love to share the above post on our blog?
    Thanks for the post and we look forward to hearing from you.

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