West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service helped tackle a blaze at a National Trust stately home east of Guildford yesterday afternoon (April 29).
Days before the Bank Holiday when the estate was expected to draw crowds, crews joined colleagues from Surrey and Hampshire at the historic Clandon Park from about 4pm to put out the fire. It was part of a multi-agency response involved the National Trust and police.
In total 16 engines were at the scene.
The work to recover priceless paintings and furniture is now underway and visitors are being urged not to visit the property.
This morning (April 30) a spokesman for Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said: “Fire crews are still tackling the Clandon Park blaze but the operation is now being scaled back now.
“Around 30 firefighters, six engines including an aerial ladder platform and a high volume pump remain on the scene.
“Most of the inside of Clandon Park has been destroyed by the blaze but firefighters and staff from the National Trust have managed to save some paintings and historic furniture from inside.”
A spokesman from the National Trust said charity was saddened’ by the news of the outbreak.
Helen Ghosh, our director general, said: “The most important thing for me is that no-one has been hurt in this awful fire and that everyone is safe.
“But it has been heart-breaking to witness the terrible damage to this wonderful mansion, which means so much, to so many people.
“This will come as a terrible shock and a devastating personal blow to all our devoted staff and volunteers.
“We’ll continue to work closely with the fire brigade, who are working hard to bring the blaze under control. We’d like to thank them again for their efforts.
“We are asking visitors not to come to Clandon Park and want to thank everyone for their expressions of sympathy.”