FIRE crews battled a fire affecting several properties in County Road throughout the night.

Shortly before midnight, fire crews received a call of smoke at a house, which developed into several roof fires.

Residents from three homes had to be evacuated whle firefighters checked whether the fire had spread but were allowed to return some time later.

Throughout the night four appliances attended the scene, including the aerial appliance. It is thought the fire began due to an electrical fault.

County Road was closed for more than six hours hours and drivers are being asked to avoid the area if possible.

A spokesman for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said: "The roof of a house in County Road, Swindon was severely damaged by fire last night.

"Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service was called to the terraced property at 11.48pm on 8 April and found the roof well alight, with the fire spreading into the neighbouring roof space.

"Three crews from Swindon and Stratton tackled the blaze, supported by an aerial appliance, which was used to give firefighters access to the whole roof area.

"Six breathing apparatus wearers used two hose reel jets and a main jet to extinguish the fire, and firefighters also stripped away a number of roof tiles to find any remaining hotspots.

"The occupants of three other houses in the terrace were evacuated from their homes while firefighters checked there was no fire spread or damage from heat or smoke. They were allowed back once those assessments were complete.

"A building control officer from Swindon Borough Council attended at the scene to check the structural integrity of the damaged roof, as half of the rear elevation had been destroyed by the fire.

"While the firefighting operation was underway, County Road was closed to traffic, but the road had reopened shortly after 6am.

"It is believed the fire started accidentally, due to an electrical fault."