Fire destroys thatched cottages in East Creech

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A fire has engulfed two semi-detached cottages in the rural area of East Creech, Wareham.

It is thought that the fire began at 9am this morning and spread through the roof shared by the thatched cottages.

At one stage the cottages were near to collapsing with Dorset Fire and Rescue Services having to dispatch 45 firefighters and nine engines to the scene to put out the blaze.

By the time crews arrived at the scene, the fire had spread across both cottages. Fire engines arrived from all across Dorset and were supported by two water carriers from Poole and Fordinbridge, and several other support vehicles.

The fire had been put under control by 12:50pm, with five crews remaining at the scene to continue damping down the blaze.

The owners of the cottages escaped unharmed and there have been no other casualties from the blaze. However a 70-year-old man is being treated for chest injuries by ambulance crews.

Fire crews worked hard to salvage possessions from the cottages, however it is thought that both cottages have been gutted.

The cause of the fire is not being treated as suspicious, however investigations are set to take place that will focus on the chimney on the cottages.