Firefighters tackling thatch fire


Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service were alerted to smoke coming from the roof of a thatched House in Great Haseley, Oxfordshire. The first attending firefighting crews reported that they were faced with a developing fire involving about 40% of the roof.

Station Manager Marcus Reay said “Our initial crews acted swiftly and used ladders to allow specialist teams to climb the roof and cut fire breaks using chainsaws. This is a new technique that we have developed for thatch fires which allows us to limit fire spread and giving us more time to salvage personal possessions from within properties.”

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus then fought the remainder of the fire from within the building and, externally, from ladders and an aerial appliance. At the height of the fire, 50 firefighters, including crews from Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Services tackled the blaze with representatives of South Central Ambulance stood by in order to provide immediate medical assistance in the event that it was required.

Firefighters are expected to be at the scene into Monday.