Woman arrested over bonfire arson in Banbury

Fire damaged garden
Image caption The occupants were led to safety

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of arson after a bonfire got out of control and damaged two homes in north Oxfordshire.

Fire crews were called to a house in McKeevor Place, Banbury, at about 1830 BST on Sunday.

The fire spread quickly to the kitchen and first floor and to a next-door property.

Fire chiefs said nearby residents were "extremely lucky" to escape from the blaze alive.

Watch Manager Tim Cox said: "The occupants of this property were extremely lucky to escape without injury and indeed loss of life, as were the neighbours.

"Our initial call was to a bonfire, but as can be seen by the devastation, this got out of control very quickly and two minutes more there could have been fatalities."

He urged people not to have bonfires in their gardens and to take extra care having barbecues in the hot weather.

Thames Valley Police is investigating the cause of the fire.

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