UPDATE: Fire rips through East Preston cottage

Thatched cottage blaze in East Preston
Thatched cottage blaze in East Preston

THIS is the moment a fire ripped through a thatched cottage in East Preston last night (Sunday, January 19).

About 70 firefighters from across Sussex rushed to Tamarisk Way, in Willowhayne Estate, shortly after 8.30pm.

Flames engulfed the entire roof of the cottage with a large plume of smoke drifting high into the night sky.

More than 12 hours since the fire sparked, firefighters are, this morning, still combatting the blaze.

Three crews remain on scene along alongside a command support unit.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue has not yet said how the fire started.

The occupants of the building, who were inside the home when the blaze erupted, are believed to be staying with neighbours.

More updates to follow.