FIREFIGHTERS said they were surprised when they were called out to reports of a chimney fire near Winchester.

At 6.45pm last night firefighters were called to a property at Lovedon Lane in Kings Worthy after neighbours raised the alarm when they saw sparks coming from next-door’s chimney.

They said they were particularly concerned as their property was thatched.

Crew manager Vince Barnes of Winchester Fire Station said: “The chimney hadn’t been swept. The fire was contained within the chimney itself and no one was hurt. We were a bit surprised when we heard it was a chimney fire.”