PEOPLE with thatched roofs are being urged to check their chimneys after a spate of fires.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has put out a safety alert after 200 firefighters from across the county were involved in tackling several blazes on Good Friday.
As reported in The News, firefighters from Southsea, Cosham, Waterlooville, Horndean, Droxford, Portchester, Havant, Hayling Island, Fareham and Liphook, were all called to a fire in East Meon.
There were also two separate incidents in the same night in Hythe and Andover.
Preliminary investigations suggest all three fires were caused by either sparks or heat from chimneys or the liner.
Group manager Dan Tasker said: ‘The outbreak of fires on suggests people are still using their open fires and log burners due to the unseasonably cold weather.
‘But these fires can cause huge problems, particularly in thatched properties, if chimneys are not properly maintained.
‘We dealt with around 260 chimney fires in 2011/2012.
‘Most of these were confined to the chimney but Good Friday showed how serious these fires can become.
‘It is crucial that flues and liners are properly checked by professionals and that chimneys are regularly swept.’