UPDATE: Farmhouse ‘totally destroyed by fire’

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A farmhouse property in Hassocks has been completley destroyed in a fire.

Crews from Barcombe, Lewes, Brighton, Newhaven and Uckfield were sent to tackle the fire in Streat Hill, Hassocks, near Plumpton, which broke out at 4.30am this morning (November 22).

Two fire engines from Burgess Hill were also sent to assist just after 8am this morning.

The fire is believed to have started in the garage area of the property, which then spread to the main building. Read our original story here.

An East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service spokesman confirmed crews were still in attendance and a fire investigation officer was due to arrive.

Crew commander Pup Upton said: “At the height of the fire we had five fire engines and two water carriers.

“Being on top of a hill there was always going to be an issue with water supply.

“The building has been totally destroyed by fire. In these windy conditions the fire very quickly spread.

“The occupants of the house were alerted by a working smoke alarm, which is one of the reasons why we advocated the installation of smokes alarms in domestic properties.

“They were alerted, could see there was an already developed fire, left the premises and called 999.

“Fairly quickly, crews from Lewes and Barcombe were confronted with a rapidly developing fire, which was being wind-driven.

“The fire quickly spread into the roof causing its collapse and collapse of the first floor into the ground floor.

“We are now dealing with localised hotspots within the collapsed structure.

“At this stage it is not being treated as suspicious, and the cause of fire has not been determined.”