A historic thatched cottage in Hampshire worth almost £1million has been devastated by fire, with more than 70 firefighters battling the blaze. The inferno was reported at the property, in Clanfield near Waterlooville in the early hours of this morning.
The roof of the detached property was well alight when firefighters arrived on the scene just before 1am.
Fortunately, there were no reports of any injuries but nearby residents were asked to keep windows and doors closed because of the smoke, and to avoid the area due to the large number of emergency vehicles in attendance.
More than 12 fire engines were called to the scene, coming from Horndean, Havant, Waterlooville, Cosham, Fareham, Hayling Island, Wickham, Southsea and Droxford fire stations.
Specialist resources from Eastleigh, Portchester and Alton were also required, as well as an aerial ladder.
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Crews have been tackling the fire using hose reels and jets, allowing firefighters wearing breathing apparatus sets to conduct a rescue operation within the two-storey property on North Lane.
Both the roof and first floor have been destroyed in the fire with the ground-floor suffering smoke and water damage.
Crews from Hamble, Hightown, Bishop’s Waltham, Liphook, Botley, St Mary’s, Gosport, Odiham, Basingstoke, Sutton Scotney and Alresford were alerted to take over from those firefighters who were first on the scene and had been working for a number of hours.
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Incident Commander Jason Avery said: “Thatch roof fires spread rapidly and are usually very difficult to extinguish, so I cannot praise our crews enough for all their hard work throughout the night to stop the fire in very cold and challenging conditions.
“Sadly a family has lost their home but fortunately no one was hurt and we were able to retrieve personal belongings from the property to prevent them from being destroyed.
“Working closely with our partners we will continue to have a presence here throughout the day to ensure the fire is fully out and establish the cause.”
The fire is the second major incident to be dealt with by Hampshire and Isle of Wight Fire and rescue in the space of two days.
Yesterday firefighters were scrambled after a house completely collapsed in Portsmouth after reports of an explosion.
Neighboring properties were evacuated from Langford Road in the Copnor areas of the city.
Two people were treated by South Central Ambulance Service paramedics before being taken to hospital.