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Family from South Oxhey evacuated after bedroom blaze in Hoylake Gardens
A family from South Oxhey had to be evacuated from their home following a large fire on Wednesday afternoon (January 23).
The blaze started in an upstairs bedroom of a house in Hoylake Gardens, at about 1.10pm while workmen were in the house.
The fire quickly spread to the loft which then collapsed back onto the first floor, providing more flammable material.
Police and fire engines from Garston, Rickmansworth and two from Watford arrived to find the roof on fire and worked for several hours to douse the flames and prevent it from spreading to neighbouring properties.
Station Commander Rob Day, said: "The crews did really well to stop the fire spreading to the adjacent property.
"Their initial swift and decisive actions prevented a second tenant losing their home.
"The fire appears to have started in a first floor bedroom.
"The fire took some considerable time to bring under control, as the loft had collapsed into the first floor adding to the available combustible material.
"There were workmen in the house at the time of the origin of the fire, and they are helping us with the ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire, which appears to have been a terrible accident".
A plume of smoke could be seen for miles around as six firefighters equipped with breathing apparatus and two hose reels battled to bring the blaze under control.
But the fire left a gaping hole in the roof and extensive smoke damage visible through the windows.
The gas and electric board were called to investigate possible damage to the supply, and a fire investigation has also been launched.
The residents were supported by the FESS (Fire and Emergency Support Service), volunteers and staff from landlords Thrive Homes, and are currently staying in a local hotel.
Jo Barrett, operations director at Thrive Homes, said: "The safety and wellbeing of residents is of paramount importance to us and, as such, ensuring we meet the immediate needs of those affected has been our initial priority.
"Members of our homes and neighbourhoods team have worked with the involved residents to arrange accommodation in a nearby hotel, supply them with shopping vouchers to buy the necessary essentials and offer support during this upsetting time.
"In addition, we are supporting the Fire Service with their ongoing investigation to establish the cause of the fire.
"We promptly secured the property in which the fire started and will take advice from the Fire Service as to when we can re-enter to fully assess the damage."
Cones put out by police to prevent traffic driving up Hoylake Gardens during the incident were also reportedly stolen.