Timsbury church fire: Historical artefacts saved

Media caption, An eyewitness who was among the first on the scene of a fire at a 15th Century church in Hampshire has captured the blaze on film

Important historical artefacts were saved from a fire at a 15th Century church in Hampshire, despite "significant damage" to the building.

An electrical fault in the vestry is thought to be to blame for Sunday's blaze at St Andrew's church, Timsbury.

Witness Helen Glasspool said the bell tower had been very badly damaged, while the organ was destroyed.

But much of the interior, the altar table and a copy of a 17th Century chained bible were saved, she added.

'Smells terrible'

"The King James Bible from the 1600s was in a glass cabinet which was thankfully opened [in time] and the Bible was completely saved," said Ms Glasspool, whose father, John Glasspool, is a churchwarden at St Andrew's.

Image source, Hampshire Fire and Rescue
Image caption, Firefighters were also able to protect a stained glass window

"The Bible smells terrible but it's now in storage, with some of the other items."

Canon Steve Pittis, rector of St Andrew's, said the blaze had caused "significant damage" to the west end of the building and the bell tower.

"We are very grateful to the actions of Hampshire Fire Service who were able to quickly get the fire under control and put it out," he said.

"I would also like to thank local residents living close by who alerted the fire services."

Officer in charge Mickey Smither previously said fire crews had been able to tackle the blaze by removing tiles from the roof.

Firefighters were also able to protect a stained glass window.

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