Another thatch fire strikes in village near Bishop's Waltham

Firefighters battle the blaze in the roof of a cottage in Sciviers Lane, Durley

Firefighters battle the blaze in the roof of a cottage in Sciviers Lane, Durley

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ANOTHER fire ripped through a thatched cottage in a village near Bishop's Waltham this morning.

Almost 100 firefighters were called into action as ferocious flames engulfed the thatched roof of a family cottage in Durley.

Those inside fled to safety and could only watch in horror as orange flames tore through the straw roof of their family home and white smoke billowed high into the sky.

Surrounding roads were blocked off and crews from all the emergency services descended on Sciviers Lane just after 11am, as they all battled all day to save as much of the cottage from the blaze as possible.

It quickly became clear that its rural location, surrounded only by fields, meant that water supply was going to be an issue, but firefighters soon established a shuttle of water carriers to ensure the hoses didn't run dry.

A total of 94 firefighters from across Hampshire headed to the scene, with teams climbing up onto the roof, raking off the destroyed thatch, as jets of water smothered the smouldering debris.

But while the battle to save the roof proved futile, the tireless work of those firefighters on the ground saw all the household belongings salvaged from inside the home and carried out to safety, to the relief of the married home owners watching on.

Incident commander Andy Bowers said: “Excellent work by our firefighters has seen the belongings salvaged from inside the house.

“It has been a whole hive of activity and I would like to give the crews my thanks for the work they have put in.”

This is the latest in a spate of thatched roof fires that has plagued Hampshire's firefighters over the past three weeks.

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