Blaze drama as thatched roof engulfed in flames

Fire: The blaze at its height engulfed the roof of the thatched home in Penwortham
Fire: The blaze at its height engulfed the roof of the thatched home in Penwortham
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A house was badly damaged when its thatched roof was engulfed in flames in a major blaze.

Six fire engines and an aerial ladder platform were called to the scene in Townley Lane, Penwortham, near Preston, when the thatched roof of a house was well ablaze.

A neighbouring property was also at risk, but prompt action by firefighters stopped the blaze from spreading.

The alarm was raised shortly after 7pm on Wednesday as the fire took hold.

The occupant, named locally as Anne Swires, was led from the property unharmed.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the building.

Penwortham fire crews called in their Preston colleagues to bring in an aerial ladder platform to tackle the flames from above.

The roof was destroyed and officers remained on site throughout the night.

Preston fire station crew manager Sean Carlisle said: “We managed to save the property next door.

“They were two cottages. The full roof has gone.

“The fire was very severe and the weight of the water and everything has made it collapse inwards into the property.”

The cause of the blaze is being investigated.

Neighbour Peter Bourne said that he urged the occupant to leave the property as the fire rapidly took hold.

He said: “It took hold incredibly fast.

“One minute, it was around the chimney and the next it had got the house. The fire brigade did a superb job stopping it from spreading to the other cottage.”

Ms Swires was believed to be staying with friends yesterday while the damage was assessed.