Tisbury fire crew attend a chimney fire at The Elms in Fovant on January 6, responding to a 999 call at 4.20pm. The incident was dealt with by 5.14pm.

Among other comments, neighbours alleged the fire engine could not reach the property as the road was too narrow, and that the hose was too short.

A spokesperson for the D & W  Fire and Rescue Service said: “I have spoken to the incident commander, who was also the driver, and he chose not to drive right up to the property. However, had he needed the appliance closer to the house, that would have been possible.

“We are baffled by the phrase ‘the hose was too short’, as we rarely use hose for chimney fires and certainly it wasn’t required on this occasion. Had it been needed, we have 120m available straightaway. As is usual, the fire was extinguished from inside the property using a stirrup pump and chimney rods. There was no need to ‘wait to see if the fire went out’ as we use a thermal imaging camera to check for any hot spots within the roof void and around the chimney itself.

The spokesperson also refuted the claim that  the ‘old Dennis engines are too wide compared with the newer Mercedes’. “We are not entirely sure of the relevance of this, as Tisbury’s appliance is a Scania,” the spokesperson added.

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