Date: 14th November, 2016
Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has thanked the community of Chirton for its help during a significant fire yesterday (13 November).
Thirteen fire engines and a number of support appliances were called to a detached house in The Street at 6.52am, where the thatched roof was well alight.
Crews attended from Devizes (two), Pewsey, Melksham, Calne, Marlborough, Trowbridge (two), Salisbury, Corsham, Swindon, Bradford on Avon and Chippenham.
The aerial appliance from Salisbury, an incident command vehicle from Devizes, an operational support unit from Salisbury, the heavy rescue unit from Trowbridge, a water carrier from Wilton, and a water carrier with supporting fire engine from Andover were also mobilised.
Area Manager Ian Jeary said: “This was a severe fire that destroyed the roof and caused significant damage to the rest of this detached property. As well as stripping thatch from the roof and fighting the fire, our crews were able to salvage much of the owner’s possessions. We would like to thank the local community, who showed us so much support, even when we effectively closed the village! In particular, we are very grateful for those people who provided us with food and drink throughout the day.”
A building control surveyor from Wiltshire Council attended at the scene and oversaw the collapse of an unsafe chimney.
During the day, relief crews were brought in from Salisbury, Swindon, Mere, Shaftesbury, Stratton, Sherborne, Cricklade and Royal Wootton Bassett. A crew from Stratton remained on scene overnight to damp down hotspots, and a crew from Devizes returned this morning to carry out further damping down. A second reinspection will be carried out later today.
The fire started accidentally, although the exact cause remains under investigation.
Anyone who owns a thatched property and would like guidance on fire safety measures can visit www.dwfire.org.uk/thatched-properties or call 0800 038 2323 to request a free home fire safety check.