A BONFIRE raged out of control and spread to a building in the grounds of a historic manor house.

Firefighters alerted to Athelhampton House near Puddletown yesterday evening found the timber summer house had been severely damaged. The blaze has prompted a warning from the fire service about bonfires.

Crews from Dorchester, Bere Regis and Wareham attended after a call at 6pm.

A brigade spokesman said: “On arrival crews found that the fire had spread from a bonfire to the summer house which was of timber construction.

“The summer house was severely damaged by fire which had also spread slightly to the grassed area.”

The spokesman added: “We urge all members of public to be very careful and thoughtful as to the positioning of bonfires, especially in this hot dry weather when fire spread happens very easily.

“Always have a hosepipe ready to use if possible. And call us on 999 at the first sign of a bonfire getting out of your control.”