FIREFIGHTERS were called to a blaze at a 17th century property in a rural South Oxfordshire village yesterday.

Three crews from Slade Road, Kidlington and Wheatley tackled the fire in Cuddesdon, which began when a hidden structural wooden beam above a fireplace caught alight.

Using specialist equipment from the Kidlington Rescue appliance, the beam was removed by firefighters.

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Crews were also able to utilise the skills of an experienced builder, who works as an on-call firefighter at Wheatley Fire Station

In a statement on its Facebook page, Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue said: "The incident is a timely reminder to regularly inspect fireplaces, get chimneys swept at least once a year, and make sure you have at least one working smoke alarm on each level of your property."