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Firefighters fight huge blaze at Wordsworth's old house
A FIRE this morning ravaged a historic Lakes house that was once the home of William Wordsworth.
Firefighters from five stations fought through the night to tackle the huge blaze at Allen Bank, Grasmere.
The fire, which started in the roof, around 1:30am, March 23, quickly consumed the first floor.
Wendy Hunt, who has lived in the house for 30 years, and her tenant escaped the fire unhurt.
She said: "I woke up to what I thought was deer noises disturbing the hens outside.
"But then I realised it was coming from the roof. I got out my tenant and all the animals, my dog Max, the cat and the goldfish.
"I then phoned the fire brigade. Max is very nervous now."
She said the fire had left the 200-year-old house in a dangerous condition for her to live in.
Neighbour Evelyn Bailey said she was woken by flashing lights.
"I came outside and all I could see was thick smoke," said Mrs Bailey.
"Wendy is so lovely its such a shame. The back of the house is completely gutted."
She added firefighters lifted a grid from outside her house to pump water up to the blaze.
Blackened furniture and belongings from the home were strewn outside of the property in the early hours of the morning while firefighters battled to control the blaze.
Although the main structure of the house remains intact, the majority of the rooms have been left so damaged that a major renovation will now be needed.
Jeremy Barlow, general manager for the National Trust in the Lake District, said: "Unfortunately the house has been substantially damaged by the fire.
"Parts of the floor have been destroyed and inside the property is blackened with soot.
"Objects were thrown out of the house during the blaze by the fire brigade to stop the fire spreading.
"We do not yet know what caused the fire.
"The house will now need to undergo a substantial renovation.
"In the meantime we will cover the property in plastic sheeting and scaffolding to protect it from further damage."
A spokesperson for the National Trust it would help find temporary re-housing.
Allen Bank was built in 1805 and given to the trust by Canon Rawnsley in 1951 – William Wordsworth lived there between 1808 and 1811 when he was aged of 38 and 41.
The house is not open to the public. The National Trust has around 25 cottages/houses in Grasmere let out to local people.
A fireman from Kendal fire station said it was thought an electrical fault could be behind the blaze.