Neighbours who saw a firework land on the roof of a thatched cottage helped save it from a fire tonight.

Quick-thinking occupier David Reith kept the blaze at bay with a garden hose after being alerted about the fire at the 15th century cottage in Collingbourne Kingston.

The neighbour alerted Mr Reith and Cannon Alan Deboo just after 8pm.

They went outside to see smoke coming from the thatch at the back of the cottages.

Mr Reith used a garden hose on the smoking roof until the fire service arrived.

More than 20 firefighters from Pewsey, Malborough Ludgershall and Amesbury tackled the seat of the fire.

They removed wire netting protecting the roof and were able to slice away the smouldering thatch.

The fire was contained to a small area of the roof.

Station officer Mervyn Hampshire from Pewsey said: " Luckily the occupiers were told a firework had landed on the roof and one used a hose on it until we arrived."

Canon Deboo, who has lived in Mayzells Cortage for 28 years, said: "We knew nothing about it until a neighbour from over the road told us they had seen a firework land on the roof.

The priest added: "It was nothing short of providential that the neighbours were watching when the firework hit the roof."

The pair of cottages, opposite the Barleycorn pub, are the oldest in the village and date back to the 15th century.