Firefighters from Ludgershall were part of efforts to save a house after a fire broke out in the thatched roof.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service was called to the cottage in the village of Stert, near Devizes, on Saturday, March 6 at 6.07pm.

At the height of the incident, there were 14 fire crews in attendance – from Devizes, Calne, Trowbridge, Chippenham (two), Marlborough, Pewsey, Frome (two), Gillingham, Westbury, Malmesbury, Corsham and Ludgershall.

Group Manager Wayne Presley, the incident commander, said: “Our firefighters worked incredibly hard, both to contain the fire within the roof and to ensure that the occupants’ possessions were saved.

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"I would also like to thank the local community, who pitched in and helped immensely with the salvage effort," he added. 

"While there is water damage to the main house, we’re hopeful that the rest of the structure is sound, and the owners can get the roof replaced and be able to move back in relatively soon.”

Also on scene were the aerial ladder platform from Swindon, a water carrier from Pewsey, an incident command vehicle from Stratton, and support vehicles from Gillingham and Dorchester.

Firefighters stripped the thatch from the roof around the chimney stack and were able to contain the fire to the roof, which was approximately 75 per cent destroyed.

They also helped to save the occupants’ possessions.

The fire was extinguished by midnight, after which the service maintained a one pump watching brief overnight, initially with a crew from Tisbury and then one from Westlea.

The nearby A342 was closed for some hours due to the number of appliances and vehicles parked on the road. It was reopened by 1am.

Owners of thatched properties in Dorset and Wiltshire can request a free Safe & Well visit from the fire and rescue service, and there is advice online about making your home as safe as possible – visit for more.