FIREFIGHTERS tackled an enormous blaze which gutted the roof of a thatched home last night (Friday).

Fire crews from across Berkshire and Oxfordshire rushed to the scene of a blaze in High Street, Goring, shortly after 10pm.

By the time they arrived the roof had become engulfed in flames and crews had to fetch water from the nearby river to help douse the inferno.

The residents of the property were not home at the time of the fire, which took several hours to extinguish.

Crew manager David Grayson said: “We were called to a thatched property fire in Goring.

“The roof was well alight upon arrival. A large section of the house was destroyed.

“The thatched part was completely destroyed.”

A passer-by noticed smoke billowing from the building and called the fire brigade.

Eight fire engines were at the scene at the height of the blaze.

Firefighters were able to save a large part of the structure but the thatched parts of the premises were severely damaged by fire. 

An investigation into the blaze is underway. It is not believed to have been arson.

Mr Grayson added: “It was a big job. We used approximately four hose reels and six main jets.

“Crews in breathing apparatus conducted a search of the property to ensure they were clear and to salvage.

“There were firefighters from across Berkshire and Oxfordshire.”

Group manager Jason Crapper added: "Given the time at which this fire occurred, it is fortunate that the fire was spotted by passers-by otherwise the losses could have been even greater.

"I’m hopeful that the rapid intervention by the initial attending firefighters from both Oxfordshire and Royal Berkshire will enable the building to be repaired."