Thatch fire out but home destroyed

Crocker Hill house fire. Photo by Eddie Mitchell SUS-161029-230949001
Crocker Hill house fire. Photo by Eddie Mitchell SUS-161029-230949001

A ‘devastating’ house fire is out after efforts from up to 75 firefighters at the scene, with some working through the night.

Crews from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service stood down at about 2.50pm yesterday after battling the thatch fire in Crockerhill that broke out at around 5.30pm on Saturday.

Crocker Hill house fire. Photo by Eddie Mitchell SUS-161029-230742001

Crocker Hill house fire. Photo by Eddie Mitchell SUS-161029-230742001

The roof and the first floor of the property were completely destroyed, with the ground floor damaged by the collapsed structure, a fire spokesperson said.

After a combined effort from 12 fire engines at its height, the operation was scaled down on Sunday morning, with one pump and an arial ladder platform remaining on site for re-inspection.

Billingshurst fire station tweeted on Sunday to say they were called at 11pm and were sent home at 5am, congratulating everyone’s efforts but paid condolences to the family.

“Crews carried on the hard work that the service had provided from when the fire started,” they tweeted.

“Thatched fires are very difficult fires to bring under control. Well done all.

“Makes you feel proud to be part of @WestSussexFire when you see the effort at large incidents like this.

“But for the family this is devastating to see. Memories and belongings wrecked. Everyone was safe, but doesn’t make up for what they’ve lost.”

The A27 was partially closed eastbound at Crockerhill between Chichester and Fontwell while the fire was being tackled.

VIDEO: Operation scaled down after ‘devastating’ house fire

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