Page last updated at 15:14 GMT, Saturday, 8 August 2009 16:14 UK

Thatched roof destroyed in fire

The thatched roof fire
Firefighters said they believed a defective chimney had started the fire

Firefighters have been tackling a fire at a thatched cottage in Essex.

Crews were called to the property in Pit Lane, Tiptree, on Saturday morning and spent about three hours putting it out and damping down the scene.

A spokesman said it appeared the fire was started in a defective chimney which allowed heat to spread into the thatch, setting it alight.

The roof has collapsed, but the cottage is still standing and no-one was injured, he added.

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