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Firefighters tackle large blaze at thatched cottage

Credit: OFRS

Around sixty firefighters have brought a blaze under control at a thatched cottage in Oxfordshire.

The house, in East Hendred near Wantage was extensively damaged, but the 95 year old resident was able to escape unhurt.

The blaze broke out just after 9am this morning.

Fire crews worked to remove the owners belongings from the house and place them in a nearby garage to ensure they were not damaged by the fire.

Ten fire appliances from across Oxfordshire and Royal Berkshire attended the incident, alongside South Central Ambulance Service and Specialist ambulance crews from Hampshire.

Credit: OFRS

Incident Commander GM Paul Bremble said “The main part of the house has been destroyed by the fire, however the crews have stopped the fire spreading to a small portion of the property.

The crews will remain in attendance for some time to ensure that the fire is fully extinguished and safe.

We urge that people do not approach the property as the fire has left it in an unstable condition and parts of the walls have already collapsed.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.”

Baby Oliver has one of world's rarest heart conditions

Oliver's parents monitor his heart rate four or five times a day

A couple from Wantage in Oxfordshire are trying to raise £200,000 to save their baby son's life.

Eighteen-week-old Oliver Cameron was born with a rare and deadly heart tumour called a Cardiac Fibroma. The condition is so rare that only 200 people in the world have been diagnosed with it.

Oliver's parents say his only hope is surgery in the United States of America, since the treatment is not available here on the NHS. There have been a number of cases at the Boston Children's Hospital. However the surgery and the associated costs will be expensive. The family have started a crowdfunding webpage online.

In the report, Mel Bloor spoke to Oliver's mother, Lydia Cameron, about the condition and how it is affecting her baby son's life.


Fire crews rescue woman from overturned car outside Oxfordshire school

Fire crews have rescued a woman who was trapped in an overturned car outside Charlton Primary School in Wantage. Officers were called to the scene just after 4pm this afternoon. Teams were mobilised from Wantage and Faringdon Fire Stations, with a Specialist Rescue Vehicle also attending from Didcot. It's believed the vehicle had been in collision with a parked car and had come to rest on its roof. Specialist vehicle stabilising equipment was used to ensure that the car could not move during the rescue, along with high powered hydraulic cutting equipment to remove the side of the car. Officers say the woman's injuries are believed to be minor.

Man jailed for burglary

A man who burgled a house belonging to an elderly woman in Wantage in Oxfordshire has been jailed for four years.

Simon Snuggs, who's 46, and of Tighe Close in Wantage, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on Friday to one count of burglary.

Snuggs broke into a property and stole electrical items and cash from the occupant, a 72-year-old woman.

He was arrested and bailed, but enquiries later linked him to an incident at Sainsbury’s store in Wantage where he was seen cashing in various coins at a Coinstar machine.

Simon Snuggs has been sentenced to four years in prison for burglary Credit: Thames Valley Police

“I am extremely happy with this sentence. This has been a very positive outcome for all of the victims involved with some of these victims being elderly.

“Having liaised with the victims I am well aware that these crimes have had a massive impact on them both physically and mentally. Being able to give the victims closure and a positive outcome is always at the forefront of any Police investigation.

“Snuggs has shown some genuine remorse over his crimes and it is to his credit that he admitted five other offences. Four years’ imprisonment is a very positive outcome and will allow the victims to move on and ultimately make the streets of Wantage town safer.”

– Investigating officer, PC Mark Allmond

Pedestrian fighting for life after ambulance crash

A pedestrian is fighting for his life in hospital after he suffered a serious head injury and broke both his legs when he was hit by an ambulance. The emergency vehicle was on its way to a 999 call when it ploughed into the 50-year-old man.

The victim was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in another ambulance following the crash on Charlton Street, in Wantage, Oxon., yesterday.

A spokesman for South Central Ambulance Service said the two ambulance crew men were uninjured and there was no patient in the vehicle.

"I saw the ambulance go past on the recovery truck. There was a massive dent on it. It looked like it ran into a lamppost. My colleague, Richard, and I had to help divert traffic because it was just chaos. There were cars coming up the road and having to turn around in people's driveways. It was mayhem."

– Dane Sheridan, eyewitness

A mother's despair as cost of looking after her disabled daughter increases fourfold.

The cost of care for their sick daughter has gone up FOUR times under new government rules - and now family from Wantage in Oxfordshire say they're struggling to cope.

26 year old Jody Dickinson suffers from Charge Syndrome - which affects her eyes, ears, growth, heart and breathing A council care grant helps with the cost of a day care centre four days a week - but from April she'll have to pay a lot more.

Her mother says it's because of the new Care Act and that it is a tax on disabled people. Divya Kohli reports.


"Feared for my life" when bashed around at sea

Andrew Taylor from Wantage talks to Meridian about his Man Overboard rescue in the North Pacific Ocean last year. He said he "feared for his life" when he was bashed around at sea.

Oxfordshire student honoured by Youth Sport Trust

A student from Oxfordshire has been named Young Person of the Year, by the Youth Sport Trust.

16-year-old Holly Clack was praised for the role she plays in helping with sport and P.E. at King Alfred's Academy in Wantage.

She was nominated by staff at the school. The Year 12 student is also a football referee, and says that has given her a great deal of confidence:

Chimney fire at thatched village pub

The chimney fire at a thatched village pub near Wantage Credit: Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service

More than thirty fire fighters tackled a chimney fire at a thatched village pub in Oxfordshire last night.

Five crews were called at 8.45pm to Hyde Road, Denchworth, near Wantage. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Incident Commander Station Manager Mike Adcock said: "Our fire crews worked quickly to make a break in the thatch to stop the fire spread.

'This quick action saved ninety nine per cent of the thatch roof with approximate twenty square metres of thatch removed by crews. We are really pleased that our swift actions saved this vital and wonderful village pub.'

The property had working smoke alarms, and Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service have urged all residents and businesses to ensure they have working smoke alarms that are checked on a regular basis.

Firefighters "Reindeer" rescue

Wantage and Kidlington firefighters have been called to help a stag that had become trapped when it slipped down a bank into a brook near West Hendred. The large stag had slipped backwards into a cavern that had been formed as a result of a collapsed concrete bridge over the brook. The stag was unable to get back out due to the sheer drop of the bank and the metal rods from the remains of the bridge, across the cavern opening.

Incident Commander Graham Turner said ‘This really was a potentially dangerous incident for the firefighters involved as the frightened stag was trying to force its way out of the cavern, and its large antlers could easily have caused a serious injury. But it was a beautiful animal that was uninjured, so we felt that in spite of the dangers, we had to at least try and release it, if we could. The operation was made more difficult as the stag also had some nylon twine wrapped around its antlers and neck and this had to be cut away to avoid it being strangled once it was released. We worked closely with the RSPCA in order to free the animal without causing it any injury and we are all pleased that he is up and about in time for Christmas in case he is needed to pull a sleigh on the big night!’

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