Luxury Newcastle home at risk of collapse after huge blaze
FIRE investigators will today start working to determine the cause of a serious blaze at a luxury home.
More than 30 firefighters spent hours tackling the flames at a large detached home in Heath Road, Whitmore Heath, yesterday morning.
They had been alerted to the blaze by neighbours who spotted smoke pouring from the roof and drifting across the area at just after 11am.
The ferocity of the fire destroyed the roof and caused the ceiling to collapse and water pipes to burst, leaving the large detached home seriously damaged and in danger of collapsing.
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Crews from Newcastle, Longton, Hanley and Ashley left the scene at about 5.30pm last night after dampening down the property.
They are expected to return to the house today to investigate the cause of the blaze but it is not believed to have been started deliberately.
Nobody was in the house at the time the fire broke out.
Dermot Hogan, station manager at Newcastle, said: "We have concerns about the structure and we don't want it falling in when we go inside.
"It's difficult to say at this stage what caused the fire however there are no suspicious circumstances."
Firefighters tapped into a water supply about 30 metres from the property.
They also removed the gate outside the home to allow an engine to get closer to the blaze.
Mr Hogan added: "The owners of the property were not in at the time and when we arrived there was a significant fire.
"From the time the family left the house in the morning to the time the smoke was spotted the fire could have been underway."
Longton's aerial ladder platform was used during the operation.
Mr Hogan added: "We also had the damage limitation unit in attendance to try to salvage as much of the downstairs of the property as possible.
"The first floor has been severely damaged by the fire, as the roof has collapsed."
A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: "At about 11am I thought someone must have been having a bonfire as smoke was drifting across the area.
"I went out and when I was on my way back later on I did notice fire engines heading to this area.
"And then when I got home I just saw the engines in the road.
"At the time we just thought it was a big bonfire as the trees around the house are quite tall so we couldn't make out the flames at first."