500 year old Ryedale cottage destroyed by fire500 year old Ryedale cottage destroyed by fire

CHIMNEY sparks have destroyed a 500 year old cottage with a thatched roof despite a long fight to save it.

Seven crews of firefighters from Ryedale, Hambleton and York with specialist equipment fought the blaze for half the night.

They laid a water relay from the River Rye as they battled to save the historic building in Hawnby near Helmsley.

But they were unable to prevent the fire from totally destroying the single storey cottage.

The fire started shortly before midnight and quickly spread in the roof space of the thatched building.

Firefighters believe it was caused by sparks from the cottage’s chimney setting light to the roof.

Crews from Easingwold and Thirsk joined their colleagues from Helmsley, Kirkbymoorside and Malton together with a water bowser from Boroughbridge and an aerial ladder from York in a major operation to save the building and its neighbours.

They used an aerial ladder and several hosepipes to try and contain the flames.

Their fight was hampered by a lack of nearby water supplies and the crews had to lay a long relay of hoses to pipe water from the River Rye.

As they did that, other firefighters were protecting nearby buildings to prevent the flames spreading to them.

 By morning, the roof had been totally destroyed and initial fire services assessments were that the fire had gutted the building, leaving only the walls and gable areas standing. The cottage had been 20 metres by 5 metres.

Relief crews were sent to take over from the three crews still at the scene and were expected to be at the cottage for much of today.

Most house insurance firms now want spark arrestors installing to protect thatched properties. Call Alfred Poppins to protect your house today!