Crews provide advice and reassurance following thatch fire

Sun 3 Apr, 2016

Firefighters have been providing advice and reassurance to residents in the Whiteleaf area following a fire which severely damaged a row of three thatched cottages in Upper Icknield Way.

Crews were called to the fire shortly before 9.45am on Saturday (2 April). At the peak of operational activity there were between 55 and 50 firefighters and officers at the scene, eight fire engines, a turntable ladder, a water tanker and a number of support vehicles.

Officers from Thames Valley Police, representatives from the power supply company and volunteers from the British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support Service also attended.

Group Commander Calum Bell, who was one of the fire officers at the scene, said: “Despite the best of efforts from the attending crews, who were working in testing conditions, we were not able to prevent what transpired to be a well-established and deep-seated thatch fire from consuming all of the roof and first floors of all three properties. 

“However, there were no injuries to any of the occupants and there were many items of furniture and personal possessions which the crews were able to save and remove before the fire broke through into the accommodation areas.”

Relief crews took over throughout the afternoon and evening and a fire engine and turntable ladder were still at the scene on Sunday evening.

Firefighters have been offering to carry out free safety checks in neighbouring properties and to install smoke alarms where needed.

If you live in a thatched property and are concerned about fire safety, a booklet is available to download here.