Firefighters battled a blaze at an 18th century mansion on Wednesday, which started in the basement of Clandon House before spreading to the roof. Sixteen crews tackled the flames at the National Trust property in Clandon Park, near Guildford in Surrey. Thick black smoke poured from the building with flames gutting the inside. Witness Chris Nicholson, tweeted: "The smell of burning and the thick smoke is continuing and we have to close the windows."
Clandon House was built in the 1720s and contained a large collection of 18th century furniture, porcelain and textiles. It has been managed by the National Trust since 1856. On Wednesday evening, crews were still struggling to contain the flames engulfing the Grade I listed stately home. A National Trust spokesman said: "The building was evacuated and everyone who was in the house is safe. Surrey Fire and Rescue Service is working to bring the fire under control and we would like to thank them for their swift response."