Fire destroys thatched roof of cottage

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More than 70 firefighters were called to tackle a blaze which destroyed a thatched cottage in Lower End, Thornborough on Thursday.

They were called to reports of a chimney fire spreading to the roof at 7.48pm and crews from Buckingham, Winslow, Milton Keynes, Aylesbury and Waddesdon attended in nine fire engines.

An Urban Search and Rescue vehicle carrying additional equipment, including a Bobcat multi-purpose vehicle, was also at the scene.

At its peak, there were 17 appliances at the scene.

Group manager, Richard Priest, the incident commander, said: “We are relieved that the occupant was able to leave the cottage safely before we arrived.

“Thatch is designed to repel water, so our priority was to remove material from the roof and create a break to try to prevent the fire from spreading.

“In spite of our best efforts, the fire had already started to take hold and it has gone on to destroy the roof and damage the first and ground floors. 

“It was a lovely building and it is very sad that it has been so badly damaged.

“The occupant asked us to salvage a number of possessions, and we were able to remove everything he requested.”

Firefighters visited other thatched properties in the area to make sure they were in no danger from the embers coming from the fire.

Relief crews from Brill, High Wycombe, Amersham, Beaconsfield and Great Holm started to arrive from about midnight, and the incident was scaled down during the night. Further relief crews arrived at 4.30am and 8.30am.