A FIRE believed to have started in a solar panel has gutted the roof and upstairs rooms of a home in Ombersley.

The fire in the roof space of a semi-detached house in Woodhall Lane left a hole in the roof but the swift actions of a neighbour, who called 999, and fire crews who rushed to the scene prevented the blaze spreading next door, saving that house.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service were called at around 11.30am today to the fire and the road to Uphampton had to be closed with a police cordon in place at both ends.

Although neighbours and the owner said the fire was caused by an electrical fault in an external solar panel, the root cause remains under investigation by Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.

At the height of the blaze four crews and around 20 firefighters tackled the fire. An aerial ladder platform was used as it was successfully contained.

Ian Phillips, the cousin of the owner, said at the scene: "Fair play - the fire crews got here in the nick of time. They did a cracking job."

The owner, who has lived at the property with his partner for 10 years, said the fire had affected the top of the house including the bathroom and both bedrooms.

He said: “It took hold very quickly.”