South Yorkshire major incident: Fire guts homes in Barnsley, Kiveton Park and Maltby

Woodland Drive fire Barnsley
Homes on Woodland Drive in Barnsley were left gutted. Credit: Facebook

Several homes across South Yorkshire have been left devastated by fire as the UK was ravaged by unprecedented heat.

Emergency services in the county declared a major incident as resources were left stretched to the limit following several wildfires, which spread to domestic properties.

In Barnsley, at least six homes were thought to have caught fire in Woodland Drive, in an incident which is believed to have started in a garden shed.

Fire broke out on Woodland Drive Credit: Facebook

Residents were moved to a nearby school, where people were invited to donate supplies.

An online fundraising page set up by a cafe in the neighbourhood, with the aim of raising £1,000, had topped £11,000 by the end of Tuesday.

Staff at the Twisted Teapot, who organised the fundraiser, wrote: "They've managed to contain the fire but the houses are completely destroyed. People have been left with nothing."

A man tries to fight the fire on Woodland Drive, Barnsley. Credit: Facebook

Elsewhere, fire broke out in Lambrell Avenue and Stockwell Avenue in Kiveton Park, Rotherham, at around 4pm on Tuesday. Three homes were badly damaged along with three garages.

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was only able to send one fire engine initially because of demands elsewhere and had to call for assistance from colleagues in West Yorkshire.

Three properties in Kiveton Park were gutted. Credit: ITV News

One of the affected residents, Paul Hughes, posted on Facebook: "I just wanted to thank everyone that tried to save our house today, for the support and kind offers of help. We didn't really get a chance to say thank you to you all, but today has restored my faith in people and community.

"We are safe and with family and just trying to take this all in and make sure our boys are okay. Totally shocked and overwhelmed at the minute."

After the fire was extinguished, checks were taking place on the affected properties. Fire station manager Alistair Forster said: "We are working closely with our partners from Rotherham Council and the police, along with the utilities to make them safe."

Meanwhile, more properties were damaged on Strauss Crescent in Maltby. South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service tweeted that "fire started on scrubland before spreading to outbuildings, fences and homes".

Crews battle to save homes in Maltby. Credit: South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

"We are absolutely devastated for the residents who lost so much," they added.

It came as temperatures in Yorkshire reached a record 40C. An all-time UK record high of 40.3C was registered at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire.

A number of incidents were reported elsewhere in South Yorkshire, including in Dinnington and Rawmarsh.

Fire started on scrubland before spreading to homes in Maltby. Credit: South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

Writing on Facebook, Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford said he had been "inundated with people asking how they can help those who have been made homeless by the fires".

He said: "In the short term I am told all those who have lost their homes have been given some form of temporary accommodation. Whilst we don't know the full extent of the losses and whether or not people were fully insured this is going to be an incredibly tough time for many people."

He added: "Today has been a dark day for Rother Valley, but so many members of the community came together to protect property and lives - I couldn't be prouder to represent such an amazing area, and such amazing people."

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