VIDEO: 300 animals rescued as fire rips through Polegate cottage

An investigation is underway this morning (Thursday) after a fire destroyed a thatched cottage on the A22 at Polegate and 300 animals had to be rescued.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service were called shortly before 6.30pm yesterday (Wednesday) after passing motorists in rush hour traffic saw flames coming from the cottage which is next to the K2 Indian restaurant on the southbound stretch of the Hailsham road.

Cophall House Fire SUS-151202-091224001

Cophall House Fire SUS-151202-091224001

Eight fire appliances were sent to the incident with relief crews from Hailsham, Eastbourne, Forest Row, Uckfield, Herstmonceux, Seaford, Bexhill, Heathfield and Lewes working through the night.

Incident Commander Mark Rist said, “While the cottage roof was lost, no one was injured and the hard work of the crews prevented the fire spreading to a range of buildings close to the fire which house in excess of 300 animals and birds.

“They also stopped the fire spreading to the adjacent bottle gas distribution site. We used the water carrier and appliances for a water shuttle from Polegate.

“At about midnight we scaled down the incident to maintain a watching brief. It is expect we will remain on site this morning.”

The A22 southbound was closed by the 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.