Three thatched cottage blazes across Hampshire

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FIREFIGHTERS were called out to three separate thatched cottage fires across the county last night.

Yesterday 12 fire crews – around 100 firefighters – were called to an incident in High Street, East Meon.

The occupants of the home raised the alarm at about 6.45pm and managed to escape.

A crew from Petersfield were first there, but the fire spread to two other properties.

At its peak, there were pumps from Droxford, Horndean, Cosham, Waterlooville, Portchester, Southsea, Havant, Hayling Island and Liphook, as well as an aerial ladder, special equipment unit, and water carriers from Camberley, Eastleigh, Fareham and Bordon.

Fire officers will visit the scene today to see if the building will need to be demolished and what caused the blaze.

No one was hurt.

Last night station manager Dave Graham said: ‘I must stress at this stage we don’t know what started the fire, but during this cold snap we would urge all owners of properties with open fires that they make sure their chimneys have been swept and that they are clear.’

Firefighters are still at the scene today.

Hampshire Constabulary were called shortly after 6.50pm.

Officers closed part of East Meon High Street, which still remain shut.

Inspector Ben Taylor, of Hampshire Constabulary, said: ‘Police and the fire service would like to thank members of the public for their understanding and cooperation during last night’s events. There was a swift, safe response by all concerned to a hazardous situation.

‘Our priority was public safety, which was the focus of our efforts at the scene.’

Anyone with queries about the situation can contact the Hampshire Constabulary, call 101.