An ‘intense’ blaze which badly damaged a house near Castle Hill was fanned by high winds as fire engines struggled to reach the property on a very narrow lane.
Fourteen firefighters tackled the intense fire in the hamlet of Hall Bower which was reported by the householder at 3.49pm on Tuesday.
Fire crew commander Paul Gyde said the fire engines managed to get within about 20 yards of the house.
One of the fire engines was damaged as its driver tried to negotiate the narrow cul-de-sac.
The first fire engine was at the scene within about seven or eight minutes of the call-out, he added. No-one was inside the property when crews arrived.
“We got within 20 yards of the house which is not unusual,” he added.
“We were surprised to find a hydrant very close that had a good water supply. Sometimes, hydrants on hills have less flow.”
Crew commander Gyde said high winds had fanned the fire but crews had managed to save the rest of the house from being destroyed.
The flames, sparked by an electrical fault in a tumble dryer, spread from the integral garage into the room above and then out of the roof.
Large jets were used to prevent the flames spreading into other rooms, he said. Many of the rooms were damaged by smoke and water.
Neighbours on the lane, which is called Hall Bower, lost electricity during the incident. Engineers were working to restore power.
Crew commander Gyde said the home had been fitted with working smoke alarms.
“I would like to remind householders to check that smoke alarms are fitted and detected,” he added. “It’s quite unusual to have a fire that intense at that time of the day.”
A woman who answered the door at the house declined to comment.