firefighters from Ledbury entered a burning home and rescued most items of value, even though the blazing roof could have collapsed at any time.

The occupants of Hill Top Cottage, Cleeve Mill Lane, Newent, had earlier fled when the blaze broke out last Friday evening (January 10).

No one was injured but the half-timbered building was gutted, despite the use of five hose jets and the presence of 32 firefighters from Gloucestershire and Herefordshire.

The 11-strong Ledbury crew, who arrived in two appliances, were given the task of "salvage".

Sub-Officer Terry Phillips said: "The building was well-alight. We went in for a swift operation and lifted everything in the house, bar the carpets.

"The roof was burning and it could have come down."

The blaze is believed to have been started by a chimney fire that spread to the thatched roof.