BREAKING NEWS: Polegate house fire was accidental

Old Thatch Cottage Fire Damage SUS-151202-131230001
Old Thatch Cottage Fire Damage SUS-151202-131230001

Last night’s fire which destroyed a thatched cottage on the A22 at Polegate was accidental, say fire investigators.

A statement released in the last hour by East Sussex fire and Rescue Service said its investigation had concluded and the fire was accidental, possibly caused by a spark igniting a thatched roof.

The site has been handed over to Building Control.

Firefighters were called at 6.21pm on Wednesday.

During the incident, crews from Hailsham, Eastbourne, Forest Row, Uckfield, Herstmonceux, Seaford, Bexhill, Heathfield and Lewes attended the scene.

They remained there until 11am this morning.

Although the home suffered very serious damage, no-one was hurt in the incident.

Crews worked hard to stop the fire spreading to a bottle gas distribution site and an area occupied by around 300 animals, including a small pony, chickens, geese, ducks and an owl. All are safe and being looked after.

The A22 southbound was closed by police and Highways Agency for several hours during the incident.

The Red Cross Fire Victim Support Unit attended to offer assistance to the occupiers and looking after crew welfare.