A WARNING has been issued to residents with chimneys following two major fires on the same day.
Firefighters were first called to tackle a raging inferno that had taken hold of a historic thatched cottage in Moreton.
Crews from Wareham, Dor-chester, Swanage and Weymouth stations attended and worked frantically to salvage the contents of the grade II listed home, while trying to contain the fire.
The blaze destroyed the roof and interior of Hurst Green Cottage.
Dorset Fire and Rescue Service was alerted just before 3.50pm on Wednesday and had it under control by 5.12pm.
Firefighters remained on the scene throughout the night to dampen down hot spots.
An investigation found that the cause is believed to be a ‘breach in the chimney that allowed hot flue to ignite some combustible material’.
The two occupants of the tenanted building, were uninjured.
A fire crew from Dorchester were then called to a chimney fire in Martinstown.
Firefighters responded at 7.50pm on Wednesday and used a chimney kit to extinguish the fire, which they had under control by 9pm.
Incident Commander Alun Morgan who attended the incident in Moreton issued some safety guidance to residents.
He said: “Over the last week, the weather has turned much colder and these incidents are unfortunately examples of what can happen if your chimney is not swept before use.
“Chimney fires become much more frequent at this time of year so in order to keep you and your family safe from fire, you need to take necessary steps.
“Please ensure your chimney is swept regularly, always use a fire guard to protect against flying sparks from hot embers, make sure embers are properly put out before you go to bed and keep chimneys and flues clean and well maintained.
“Finally, I would urge all householders to ensure they have a working smoke alarm in their home that is tested weekly.”
One of the Community Safety Officers, who attended the Martinstown incident, returned to the property to fit smoke detectors. A free home fire safety check, where Dorset Fire and Rescue Service provide advice and support on how to prevent a fire from occurring in the home, has been arranged for early next week.