23.3.16 Fire crews tackle Lytchett Matravers thatch fire


Fifteen fire engines called to large thatch fire.

The blaze started shortly after 19:00 in Eddy Green Road, Lytchett Matravers.

More than 70 fire fighters tackled the blaze and the road was closed overnight between the Middle Road junction and the Dolmans Hill junction.

Dorset Fire and Rescue Service said crews were expected to remain at the scene for most of the morning damping down hotspots.  The occupants of the cottage escaped unhurt.

The blaze that caused thousands of pounds of damage to the property at Lytchett Matravers was caused by hot chimney embers igniting the thatched roof, fire fighters say.

Fifteen fire crews were called to the large fire at the thatched property along Eddy Green Road on Wednesday 23rd March 2016.

Dorset Fire & Rescue Service, Dorset Police and South West Ambulance Service attended the drama, which unfolded around 7pm.

The roof of the property was destroyed in the incident, but no-one was injured and fire crews managed to stop the blaze spreading to the rest of the building.

The owners of the property said they were still too emotional to speak to the Daily Echo.

Meanwhile, neighbours described the fire as “a tragedy” and said their thoughts were with the people who lived there.

A Dorset Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Fire crews used breathing apparatus and compressed air foam, which is designed to cool the thatch down.

“Although they had to rip all the thatch off the roof, they did manage to salvage all items of furniture and stop the fire spreading from the roof to the house.”

Fire crews from Poole, Wareham, Hamworthy, Bere Regis, Westbourne, Springbourne, Wimborne, Swanage, Redhill Park, Blandford Ferndown and Christchurch.

Police maintained a strict cordon of the immediate area while fire fighters tackled the blaze.


Thatch fires are not common, but many of these fires could be prevented if more precautions were taken. With good safety precautions a thatched home is no more likely to catch fire than any other property, but the potential for fire damage is so much greater, and the results can be devastating.  The thatch is designed to repel water, so for a Fire and Rescue Service this makes it a difficult task to extinguish such fires - prevention is essential, detection is often too late.  There are many things that you can do to prevent a thatch fire from breaking out.  Scroll through the safety tips and learn more about things you may not have considered. 


1  As with any fire GET OUT, STAY OUT, CALL 999.

2  When on the phone to Fire Control, give your address and any nearby landmarks that may help crews in finding your property quickly.  If you are especially remote, your six figure Ordnance Survey map reference would be very useful.

3  If your property is off the highway, send someone to the junction with the public road to direct fire crews.  Ensure the access to your property is wide and free from overhead obstructions to allow a fire engine to get close to the property.

4  If you have access to a hose-pipe, and it is safe to do so, spray the roof to keep the thatch damp until the fire and rescue service arrive.  DO NOT try and tackle the fire.

Story collated by Liz Turnbull.

Resources used:




Registered Office:  Southwold House, 66 Botley Road, Park Gate, Southampton, United Kingdom

Company number: 07810000