Blenheim Palace staff cause fire
Published 21/12/2010 | 23:42
Firefighters were called to Blenheim Palace after staff set fire to the roof while attempting to thaw frozen pipes.
More than 40 emergency responders were called in to tackle the blaze at the birthplace of wartime prime minister Sir Winston Churchill.
Despite the scale of the operation, it is thought that the palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire, sustained only minimal damage.
The blaze took hold shortly before 1.30pm.
It is believed that a bird's nest caught fire when staff tried to heat external water pipes.
Despite the poor weather conditions, engines from Woodstock, Kidlington and Oxford were able to reach the palace within minutes of the initial 999 call.
The fire was put out quickly but firefighters stayed at the scene damping down the area.
It is thought that external parts of the roof received smoke damage, but the majority of the building remained unaffected.
Home to the 11th Duke and Duchess of Marlborough, Blenheim Palace was made a World Heritage Site in 1987.