Sixty firefighters tackled a blaze at an empty thatched cottage in Rushall yesterday.

The fire service received a call alerting them to the incident at Elm Road at 2pm and a total of 11 crews attend the scene.

The fire started close to the central chimney in the pair of semi-detached cottages and crews attacked the fire by creating fire breaks in the thatch to the front and rear of the properties preventing the fire spreading through the whole roof. A crew from Pewsey were first on the scene closely followed by Amesbury and Marlborough.

Crews from Devizes, Ludgershall, Salisbury, Westbury, Stratton, Trowbridge, Chippenham, Wilton, Melksham, Calne, Ramsbury, Andover, and Royal Wootton Bassett also attended and firefighters were at the scene for six hours.

David Geddes, station manager at Marlborough Community Fire Station, said: “The fire was efficiently extinguished with a minimal amount of damage to the possessions in the property and a small amount of fire damage to the property next door.

“The crews did a fantastic job to stop the fire really quickly.

“The scene has now been handed over to the police who will now be looking for evidence.”

The cause of the fire is currently unknown and is being investigated by Wiltshire FRS fire investigation officers.

The cottage is currently up for sale and vacant so no search and rescue was necessary.

The road was reopened by 6pm.