A fire which destroyed the roof of a 19th Century church in Fleet is finally under control tonight. The fire broke out in All Saints Church around 5:30pm spreading rapidly throughout the building.
Firefighters from Fleet, Rushmoor and Hartley Wintney have been battling the fire for more than three hours and it is now under control. An aerial ladder platform from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service was also used to help dampen the flames.
Officer in charge of the incident, Group Manager Brian Rudman said: "This was a significant fire that has seriously affected a beautiful and historic building. Crews have worked hard in arduous conditions to bring the fire under control. Unfortunately the roof of the church has been completely destroyed by the fire but the main structure and brick work remains in tact and there is every hope that this church can be rebuilt in the future."
Crews, who wore breathing apparatus and used jets and hose reels to fight the flames, will remain on scene working hard to bring this incident to a close.
A Church of England Diocese of Guildford spokesperson has said of the incident: "The news of the fire at All Saints Church in Fleet is alarming, and our immediate prayer is that everybody within the vicinity is safe and sound, and for members of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service who are tackling the blaze. The sudden loss of a Church Building can have a far-reaching effect on a community, beyond those who attend regularly, and so our thoughts and prayers are also with the Vicar and everyone in the congregation and town of Fleet."
Crews on scene are currently dampening down. A fire investigation will take place in due course.