One feared dead as investigations continue into fire which ripped through cottages near Hitchin

The aftermath of the fire at Offley Holes Farm Cottages, situated between Preston and Charlton.

The aftermath of the fire at Offley Holes Farm Cottages, situated between Preston and Charlton. - Credit: Paul Wood

Firefighters who tackled a blaze which ripped through two cottages near Hitchin during the early hours of yesterday morning are continuing their investigations this morning – amid fears one person may have been killed.

The aftermath of the fire at Offley Holes Farm Cottages, situated between Preston and Charlton.

The aftermath of the fire at Offley Holes Farm Cottages, situated between Preston and Charlton. - Credit: Paul Wood

Eight crews – including two from both Hitchin and Stevenage, and one from Baldock – were called at about 6.10am yesterday after a fire broke out at Offley Holes Farm Cottages, situated on the road between Preston and Charlton.

The blaze started in one of the cottages – where one person remains unaccounted for – before spreading to a neighbouring property with a family of four inside.

The two adults and children were able to get out of the cottage with the help of firefighters, and did not require hospital treatment.

The aftermath of the fire at Offley Holes Farm Cottages, situated between Preston and Charlton.

The aftermath of the fire at Offley Holes Farm Cottages, situated between Preston and Charlton. - Credit: Paul Wood

A spokesman for the fire service said: “We cannot yet confirm whether or not there is a fatality. The fire investigation was prohibited yesterday due to structural concerns with the building, but the investigation can be concluded today.”

A further update is expected this afternoon, with police also on the scene.