Fire guts house in Banburyshire village of Hornton; villagers help in the attempt to save the occupants' possessions

Firefighters still working to completely extinguish the house fire in Hornton, nearly three hours after it broke outFirefighters still working to completely extinguish the house fire in Hornton, nearly three hours after it broke out
Firefighters still working to completely extinguish the house fire in Hornton, nearly three hours after it broke out | other
A fire has completely gutted a thatched cottage in Hornton but thankfully the occupants were not inside.

Six appliances and specialist units from neighbouring fire services attended the blaze at Crosby in Miller's Lane. Neighbours living opposite raised the alarm when they realised the thatched roof was ablaze..

It is understood neighbours who saw the fire engulfing the house broke in to ensure that the occupants and their dogs were not inside. They also did their best to form a chain to remove what possessions they could from the cottage.

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Fortunately the family was out at the time of the outbreak at approximately 3pm and fire appliances arrived to tackle the blaze soon after. Witnesses said the roof 'went up' first and it took over an hour to get the worst of the fire under control.

Flames are extinguished but firefighters use hydraulic equipment to damp down the burning building from aboveFlames are extinguished but firefighters use hydraulic equipment to damp down the burning building from above
Flames are extinguished but firefighters use hydraulic equipment to damp down the burning building from above | other

"There were large flames coming out of the roof and they had big hoses directed on to the roof. Some of the village men helped the firemen to carry the hose reels up the hill. The whole community turned out to help. Neighbours have been doing their best to help those affected," said one.

Shocked witnesses indicated the fire started in the thatch, which is tinder dry because of the long-standing lack of rain and hot weather.

One said: "The house has been completely burnt out."

The village lost electricity for some hours during the firefighting operation.

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