The following report appeared in the Cambridge Chronicle on 6th January 1872:
Incendiary Fire. On the night of 26th, or early in the morning of 27th December last, about four or five loads of straw, part of a stack sold to Mr Pearman of Bassingbourn, at Messrs. Gunnell’s auction, and lying on land late in their occupation in the Whaddon Road, was wilfully set fire to and consumed. It is hoped that the perpetrator of this senseless and wanton act will be soon discovered.
Then the following week, this update was printed:
The recent fire – the quantity of produce consumed at this fire consisted principally of a load of garlick [sic] seed and rubbish. The fie was accidental and was not caused by an incendiary.