The High Street in Market Lavington remained shut early this evening as Wiltshire Fire Fire and Rescue deal with a serious house blaze. 

Crews from Devizes, Trowbridge, Westbury and Melksham were fighting a fire in the roof of a terraced house.

They remain on the scene but the number of pumps has been scaled back to two and the B3098 at Market Lavington could reopen by 7pm.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue were called at 1.15pm and when they arrived in the High Street they found the roof was well alight.

Nicky Wragg, landlady of the Green Dragon pub just a few doors away from the burning house, said the family were out when the blaze started and friends were trying to contact them to break the news.

Mrs Wragg said: “They are people we know well. They are regulars here. This is going to be heartbreaking for them but at least they are safe and well.”

She said the first she knew of the fire was just after 1pm when she could smell smoke coming in through an extractor fan at the pub.

“I thought someone was barbecuing and then I realised it was a fire in the house. I was going to ring 999 but then I realised someone already had," she said.

“We can’t actually see the house from the pub but there was a lot of smoke earlier. The fire brigade are working very hard so we haven’t offered them cups of tea yet but I expect we will.”

It is thought that the parents were at work when the fire started and a child was at school. An older daughter no longer lives at home.

Neighbours were also out so firefighters had to break down a door to gain entry.

Louise Knox, for Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, said that fire engines crewed by firefighters from Bradford on Avon and Mere joined four others at the scene along with an aerial appliance.

The fire is mainly affecting the roofs and the top floors of the three-storey home and neighbouring houses, which are said to have a complex layout.

Six firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were inside the house at one point in the operation led by Darren Nixon, station manager at Devizes Fire Station.

He gave the following safety message: “It is vital for people to ensure they have working smoke alarms. We urge people to make sure they have good morning and bedtime routine from a safety point of view.”