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Thatcham house evacuated in busy night for firefighters

Fire safety warning issued following overnight incidents

John Herring

John Herring


01635 886633

Fire; firefighters; fire engine

A house fire, torched car, chimney fire and a burning hay stack - all part of a night's work for firefighters across West Berkshire.

A Thatcham home was evacuated last night after a fire spread from a fence to the property.

Firefighters from Newbury, Caversham Road and Kingsclere spent around two hours battling the blaze at a house in Cowslip Crescent.

Watch manger Phil Knight said that a woman had to be rescued from the burning building and was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation. 

Several teenagers were also evacuated from the building.

Mr Knight said that the fire was not being treated as suspicious.

He issued a fire safety warning, however, as the brigade had attended several recent incidents caused by discarded cigarettes.

"A lot of people are smoking outside and not disposing of cigarettes properly," he said, adding that people should make sure they had an appropriate method to dispose of their smoking material, such as an ash tray.

Elsewhere in Thatcham, one crew from Newbury were called to a burning car in Park Avenue at around 4am.

They spent about an hour putting out the Volkswagon Golf and the fire is being treated as suspected arson. 

Mr Knight added that Thames Valley Police were investigating the incident. 

The Thatcham fires followed a call out to a chimney fire in Pyle Hill, which fire crews from Newbury and Basingstoke spent around two hours extinguishing.

Mr Knight advised people to ensure that their chimneys were swept regularly and to only burn appropriate materials in open fire places.

Meanwhile, in Bradfield, 150 tons of hay has gone up in smoke. 

Firefighters from Tilehurst and Reading were called to "a farmer's field in the middle of nowhere" at around 2am and had just returned from the job when NewburyToday called Dee Road Fire Station at 8.36am.

However, another crew has been sent out to monitor the stack in case it catches fire again. 

No reason has been given as to the cause of the fire.

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