This was the view from my bedroom window when I woke up this morning, there had been a large house fire a few doors down in the middle of the night.

Six fire engines, a turntable ladder, command ...
Six fire engines, a turntable ladder, command and incident support units on the green this morning (Photo credit: James Kemp)

From speaking to neighbours and some of the Surrey Fire & Rescue Service crews and local Councillors (lots of which was via Twitter) I found out some of what happened, no doubt there is more to it than this.

Sometime around 03:40 the fire started in the upstairs part of a semi-detached house at the other end of the green from my house. The exact time is unclear, but Surrey FRS reported that they were on the scene at 03:47. The man who lives in the house, a local mechanic who runs a repair garage nearby, returned from a job to find his house already alight. He raised the alarm and rescued his pet dog from the house. No-one else was in the house.

The fire was well underway at this stage, and when the firefighters arrived they quickly escalated things to bring in (eventually) six pumps, a turntable ladder, a command unit (the van parked over the green behind the pump), an incident support unit, four fire officers and a fire investigation unit. It was a difficult house fire (as shown by the level of commitment to deal with it) and it took some stopping to prevent it engulfing the other half of the semi. By 0730 the fire was out and the fire crews started to make up and knock off. Most of the pumps had left the scene to return to their stations by 0800, with just two remaining with the incident support and the fire investigation unit. There has been at least one pump remaining all through the day.

A walk past later on when taking the kids out to Furzefield Woods for some exercise let me get a good look. The fire destroyed the whole top floor of the house, with only rafters remaining of the roof. The windows of the master bedroom had melted, as had those of the upstairs landing. The front facing bedroom on the other side were smoke blackened. It was clear that there was also damage to the neighbouring house, while it looked fine from the outside, the line of roof damage shows that the fire spread across the top of the party wall. That combined with the knowledge that the crews had soaked the party wall to stop the fire spreading shows that there must have been some significant damage there too.

On the positive side, no people were hurt.

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