A BLAZE which tore through the garden of a Baughurst home “could have been worse”, according to the home owner.

Firefighters were called to Fairoak Way at 3.20pm on Tuesday, July 4 after receiving several reports of a large plume of black smoke coming from the home.

However, the owner of the property, Paul Wisken, was not aware what was going on until a neighbour alerted him to the blaze.

The 63-year-old said: “Our neighbour from across the way come over and said the shed is on fire.

“At first I thought ‘oh Christ’ but I didn’t panic, I knew where we had a fire extinguisher, but when that failed I started using the garden hose.

“The flames started to spread and that’s when another neighbour had to pull me away, as the flames were getting too close.”

More than 20 firefighters from stations in Basingstoke, Tadley and Rushmoor attended the scene to find the fire had spread from the shed in the back garden to a caravan and two houses.

The firefighters used jets and hoses to extinguish the blaze.

Mr Wisken explained he believed the first started in his 10x8 shed and spread to a smaller shed, then melting his caravan, which he had only had for two weeks.

The flames damaged the exterior of Mr Wisken’s house, as well as spreading to a neighbouring property, where the fence was destroyed, gardened singed by the fire and two of the front windows blown out.

The plumes of smoke also stained the front of a third house in the cue-de-sac.

He added: “It spread really quickly, and before I knew it our fence was gone and it had spread over to our neighbour’s house, where the windows were blown out.

“At the end of the day it’s only stuff, it could have been worse.

“The main issue is some of the roof tiles over our bedroom have had to be removed, so we need to cover that before we get this stormy weather.”

Mr Wisken was treated for a minor burn to his forehead and joked: “The firefighters said it can’t be too bad as my beard is still intact.”

Grateful neighbours provided the fire crews with a bag full of cold drinks with Tadley Fire Station tweeting: “As a final note to the earlier incident, a big thanks to neighbours who bought out a shopping bag full of cold drinks for the crews.

“Great to see that the community spirit hasn’t been lost. #everyoneneedsacolddrink.”

Crews got the stop signal at around 5:30pm, with no clear sign as to what started the fire.