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Quick action saves thatched cottage

Date: 6th May, 2019

Quick action by firefighters saved most of a detached cottage affected by a fire in its thatched roof today (6 May).

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to Windsor Drive, Devizes at 12.23pm, with the first crews in attendance finding an area of thatch around the chimney well alight.

Twelve fire engines were mobilised to the scene, from Devizes, Trowbridge (two), Pewsey, Marlborough, Chippenham (two), Andover, Bradford on Avon, Frome, Swindon and Corsham, supported by an aerial ladder platform from Swindon, an operational support unit from Salisbury, a water carrier from Ramsbury and an incident command unit from Stratton.

Firefighters were able to make breaks in the thatch on either side of the chimney, preventing the fire from spreading throughout the whole roof. They also salvaged as many of the occupants’ possessions from inside the property as possible, and brought four cats to safety.

Volunteers from the British Red Cross emergency response team, based at Swindon fire station, attended at the scene to support the occupants of the cottage.

By 4pm, firefighting had ceased and the attendance on scene was reduced to a one pump watching brief, to monitor the roof and deal with any hot spots. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but it is believed to have started accidentally.

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