DOZENS of firefighters battled through the night to contain a blaze which devastated a thatched cottage in the New Forest.
The alarm was raised shortly before 9pm yesterday (Monday) as flames engulfed the roof of the Grade II listed property in Wiltshire Road, Bransgore. Its occupants, two adults and a child, all got out safely.
People were urged to avoid the area as a team of more than 70 Hampshire and Dorset firefighters tackled the emergency.
Equipped with breathing apparatus, their efforts included scaling the roof and removing sections of thatch.
A total of 16 fire engines from Hampshire stations including Lyndhurst, Burley, Beaulieu and New Milton attended.
Crews were still at the scene this morning (Tuesday) as they continued damping down the property in a bid to prevent further flare-ups.
The cottage’s occupants stayed at a neighbour’s home last night, according to a spokesperson for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.
“Yesterday evening at 20.55 crews were called to deal with a thatch fire at a domestic property in Wiltshire Road, Bransgore, Hampshire,” the spokesperson said.
“Around 65 firefighters from across Hampshire assisted by our colleagues at Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service attended the incident.
“A total of 16 pumps and 58 BA [breathing apparatus] were used during the incident. Occupants of property – two adults and one child – safe and accounted for with no injuries reported.”
The spokesperson added: “Crews remain on the scene to dampen down and we extend our thanks to our partners at Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service for their support.”
Both fire services posted updates on Twitter as the blaze was dealt with throughout the night and into this morning. A tweet by the Hampshire Fire Control account around 9.40am said crews were “likely to be in attendance for the foreseeable”.
Several members of the public tweeted comments to the fire service posts, praising the firefighters and passing on their best wishes to the cottage’s owners.
One tweeted: “It was truly shocking. An incredible job done, but how awful for the owners.”