One of the ‘jewels in the crown’ of stately homes owned by the National Trust in the Home Counties is in ruins this morning after it was devastated by fire.
Investigators have started trying to determine the cause.
The huge blaze near Guildford Surrey could be seen for miles around and has effectively gutted the 18th century stately home.
Only one room remains intact.
The fire is believed to have started in the basement and raged through the entire building.
Around 80 firefighters fought through the night to bring it under control using aerial ladders and platforms.
National Police Air Service Redhill helped coordinate the operation with the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service by providing aerial viewpoints to relay to command and control.
NPAS_Redhill singled out the ‘superb work’ of Surrey FRS:
— NPAS Redhill (@NPAS_Redhill) April 30, 2015
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service said:
Fire crews are still tackling the Clandon Park blaze but the operation is now being scaled back now – Around 30 firefighters, six engines including an aerial ladder platform and a high volume pump remain on the scene.
Most of the inside of Clandon Park has been destroyed by the blaze but firefighters and staff from the National Trust have managed to save some paintings and historic furniture from inside.
This has been a disaster for the National Trust with many irreplaceable items damaged or destroyed.
There was a massive salvage operation involving staff and volunteers after the conflagration took hold of the building after 4 pm yesterday afternoon.
National Trust director Helen Ghosh said:
The most important thing for me is that no one has been hurt in this awful fire and that everyone is safe.
But it has been heart-breaking to witness the terrible damage to this wonderful mansion, which means so much, to so many people.
This will come as a terrible shock and a devastating personal blow to all our devoted staff and volunteers.
We’ll continue to work closely with the fire brigade, who are working hard to bring the blaze under control. We’d like to thank them again for their efforts.
Clandon Park was built in the 1720s and contains a large collection of 18th century furniture, porcelain and textiles.
Its website has the following announcement:
We are saddened to say that a fire broke out on Wednesday 29 April at Clandon Park. Everyone who was in the house is safe. We are asking visitors not to come to Clandon Park and want to thank everyone for their expressions of sympathy.
Images of the developing blaze and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service operations from Surrey F&RS
— NPAS Redhill (@NPAS_Redhill) April 29, 2015