Affpuddle thatched cottage fire caused by wood burning stove

Image source, DWFRS
Image caption,
Firefighters removed thatch from the roof

A blaze that gutted a thatched cottage was caused by a wood burning stove.

At its height more than 50 firefighters tackled the blaze at the holiday let in Affpuddle, near Dorchester, Dorset, which started on Thursday evening.

A number of people got out safely from the house after they were alerted by a passer-by who spotted smoke in the roof. No-one was injured.

The fire service said sparks from the wood burner got on to the thatch and caused the blaze to "rapidly spread".

Image caption,
Sparks from the wood burning stove inside the cottage got on to the thatch and caused the blaze

Julian Lockwood, from Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, said: "A thatch is no higher risk than any other home but when exposed to sparks from either an unswept chimney or badly seasoned wood the potential for rapid fire spread is unfortunately what happens."

Water was pumped from the nearby River Piddle to fight the fire.

Owner Jonathan Wilkes previously praised the fire service for its "wonderful job".

He added: "It's one of the ancient buildings of the village - it's an enormous shame and a great tragedy this has happened."

Image source, DWFRS
Image caption,
Firefighters from across Dorset were brought in to tackle the fire

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