MORE THAN 60 firefighters were called to Hartley Wespall last night after a thatched roof caught fire.

The fire brigade was called at 6pm last night with the first floor and roof "well alight", according to Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Crews from Basingstoke, Hartley Wintney, Odiham, Tadley, Rushmoor, Overton, Winchester, St Mary's and Berkshire were fighting the blaze with ten breathing apparatuses, two jets, two hose reels and a compressed air foam system.

They were joined by specialist units from Fleet, Andover, Eastleigh and Alton, and relief crews from Kingsclere, Stockbridge and Yateley were called in the early evening.

Jerry Leonard, Group Manager who was incident commander, said: “On arrival we were faced with a well-developed thatch fire in a remote location with a limited water supply and worked well with our colleagues from Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service and other partner agencies to overcome these challenges.

"It is a devastating incident for the owners of the property but due to the incredible efforts of our firefighters we managed to implement a good fire break, save all the possessions and half of the building.”

Firefighters created a fire break in the roof, damped down the affected areas and rescued belongings from the house.

HFRS urged people to avoid the area last night after numerous units from North Hampshire and Berkshire descended on the scene.