London

Artworks saved from Southside House fire in Wimbledon

Firefighters have saved artwork worth millions of pounds from a blaze at a stately home in south-west London.

About 40 fighters spent four hours tackling the fire in the roof of the 17th Century Southside House in Wimbledon on Sunday night.

Some of the crews were allocated to rescuing the artworks as soon as they arrived at about 2130 GMT amid fears they could be damaged by water.

About 70 people had left the house before the fire crews arrived.

Salvage plans

Commander Aaron Watson said: "Firefighters did a brilliant job in tackling the blaze and containing it to the roof, saving the rest of the building.

"As soon as we arrived, a crew was allocated to carry out salvage plans and rescue valuable artwork, which we understand is worth millions of pounds.

"This job was particularly difficult because of the structural elements of the building, with our crews working extremely hard to limit any fire and water damage."

The house was built for British aristocrat Robert Pennington and some of his descendants still live there.

It also has a museum, runs tour groups and hosts events such as concerts and lectures.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites