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Huge blaze at All Saints Church in Mudeford Lane, Mudeford



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A BLAZE swept through a church in Mudeford last night (Thursday).

The alarm was raised at about 8.10pm with firefighters from Christchurch scrambled to All Saints Church in Mudeford Lane.

It's not yet clear how the fire started (picture: April Henley)
It's not yet clear how the fire started (picture: April Henley)

Crowds gathered as the flames took hold, with the scale of the incident forcing the local crew to call for extra back-up.

Twelve fire engines were at the scene at one point alongside 50 firefighters, with two water carriers and an aerial ladder platform.

The alarm was raised at about 8.10pm (picture: April Henley)
The alarm was raised at about 8.10pm (picture: April Henley)

Firefighters used main lines to bring the fire under control and prevent further fire spread. Dorset Police were requested to close the road.

Witness James Henley said: "My family and I were on our way home from Mudeford Quay, and we saw huge clouds of smoke rising as we left.

"As we drove through the village and got closer to the smoke, we noticed cars turning around and firefighters blocking the road.

"At first, all we could see was the thick smoke billowing through the tiles, but eventually, you could hear the tiles cracking and falling to the floor. Then the roof gave way, and huge flames rose up in its place."

He added: "By the time we left, there were at least six fire engines, and firefighters were putting on breathing equipment as they prepared to enter the church.

"There were many very shocked and upset people, with some locals hugging each other and appearing close to tears."

Christchurch fire crew tweeted an update this morning: "We have now left All Saints Church in Mudeford.

"We will be returning this morning to reinspect and ensure there are no hotspots.

"A fire investigation officer will also attend this morning to begin an investigation into the cause."

Dorset Police closed the road (picture: April Henley)
Dorset Police closed the road (picture: April Henley)

It is not currently clear how the fire started.

New Milton's fire station team tweeted: "Such a great loss to the community."

Last night Dorset Fire and Rescue Service group manager Stuart Gillion, who was on scene, said: “We are asking the public to please avoid the area.

"Due to the weather, Christchurch and Mudeford are extremely busy this evening.

"To allow our crews to work safely and prevent the fire spreading, we are urging residents to stay away.”



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