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Home » News & Events » 2012 » March » Thatched roof fire

Thatched roof fire

Crews were alerted to the incident at around 7.40pm and fire engines from Evesham, Droitwich and Bromsgrove were sent to the address in Crowle Road along with two further crews from Warwickshire (Alcester & Stratford-on-Avon). The water carrier from Evesham and the Compressed Air Foam System (CAFS) from Redditch also attended.

Crews found a severe fire in the roof space of the thatched cottage which they brought under control with the use of six firefighters in breathing apparatus, four hose reels and one main jet, plus the compressed air foam.

E.ON also attended to isolate overhead cables.

While no one was hurt during the incident, there was extensive damage to the roof of the property, and the British Red Cross Victim Support Unit attended to offer practical help and advice to the family.

Group Commander Phil Russell from HWFRS said: "Thatched roof fires are always a challenge and this was a particularly difficult one. The thatch on the roof of the cottage was especially thick, with a metal mesh holding it in place, and it was arduous work for the crews as they cut away the metal to strip the roof and ensure the fire was fully extinguished."

He confirmed that a relief crew from Broadway is still at the scene, damping down and assisting with salvage operations, and that investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

He also urged anyone with a thatched property to be vigilant regarding fire safety, explaining that while statistically homes with thatched roofs are no more likely to catch fire than those with conventional roofs, the damage can be more severe where a fire does occur.

As most thatched roof fires are chimney related, HWFRS is advising anyone with a thatched roof to have their chimneys swept on a regular basis and to have them inspected at least once every three years by a registered chimney engineer, who will check the chimney liner and brickwork. Standard home fire safety advice is also more important than ever in a thatched property, so ensure cigarettes are properly extinguished and carefully disposed of, and that electrical equipment is turned off and unplugged when not in use.