UPDATED WITH PICTURES: Firefighters tackle blaze at thatched house near Thame

Fire crews tackle a blaze at a thatched property in Great Haseley
Fire crews tackle a blaze at a thatched property in Great Haseley

Fifty firefighters tackled a blaze after the roof of a thatched house caught fire yesterday (Sunday).

Just before 5.30pm Oxfordshire County Council’s fire and rescue service were alerted to smoke coming from the roof of a thatched property in Great Haseley. The first attending fire crews reported that they were faced with a developing fire involving about 40% of the roof.

Fire crews tackle a blaze at a thatched property in Great Haseley

Fire crews tackle a blaze at a thatched property in Great Haseley

Crews immediately deployed firefighting jets to control the flames whilst specialist teams used chainsaws to cut a fire break to protect the remaining parts of the property.

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.

Crews from Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes and Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Services tackled the blaze while representatives of South Central Ambulance Service stood by in order to provide immediate medical assistance.