Andover thatched cottage destroyed by fire

Cholderton thatch fire The fire gutted the roof and most of the first floor

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A fire has destroyed a thatched cottage in a Hampshire village.

The blaze broke out in the roof of the Grade II-listed property in Cholderton, near Andover, shortly after 17:00 BST on Thursday. The owners were not home.

It took more than 70 firefighters about four hours to bring the fire under control - the cause is under investigation.

It comes after 200 firefighters tackled three separate blazes at thatched properties on Good Friday.

The fire service said the spate of fires was due to the unseasonably cold weather.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue's Dan Tasker said: "With regular maintenance most chimney fires are preventable and we can avoid the sort of destruction seen with the recent thatch fires.

"With people still using fires into the spring months, additional sweeps may be required."

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