A FAMILY have been left devastated after a fire broke out today, destroying the roof and damaging the upstairs of their home.

Five fire engines attended the blaze at a cottage in Main Street, Leavening, at about 8.50am after fire broke out in the attic of the house, causing the roof to collapse and damaging the first floor of the cottage.

Concerned residents in the close-knit village gathered outside the Jolly Farmers Inn as firefighters lifted the remaining roof tiles off to spray water jets in to the upstairs of the home of Steve and Sian Langton and their three children.

Mr Langton, who received a phone call from his wife to tell him that their house was on fire, appeared visibly stressed as he watched fire fighters tackling the remainder of the fire and smoke.

"It started in the attic. The only thing I can think of is that something was on charge," he said.

"It is a shock, how do you think we feel. Things could be worse though."

Mrs Langton said that she did not want to make a comment as she stood talking to firefighters while clutching a black dog. One resident in the village, who did not want to be named, said the couple were concerned about whether their cat had made it out of the house when the fire broke out.

Watch Manager Justin Rowe confirmed that no one had been injured in the fire and that fire crews from both Malton and York had attended the scene. Mr and Mrs Langton's three children were at school at the time of the fire.

Resident Charlotte Kirk, who has lived in the village for 30 years, said that she was extremely shocked but that everyone would pull together to help the family in whatever way they could.

"It's a real shock. We've only ever had a few chimney fires here, nothing like this. The family will no doubt take a while to get over the shock," she said.

"We came to see if there was anything we could do. If they want or need anything there will be a lot of people who want to help. Everyone will pull together to help and they are a very well known family in the village and part of the Church."

Another villager, who did not want to be named, said that he had also come to offer his support and to help the family collect their belongings but fire officers said that until the extent of the structural damage was confirmed, no one would be allowed in the property.

Oscar Donohoe, one of the firefighters who was called to the scene said: "The fire started in the attic but we will not know the exact cause until further investigation has taken place. At the moment we are trying not to put any of the firefighters in it because of structural damage."

Mr Donohoe said that crews on the aerial ladder platform were using jets and were pulling off the remaining roof tiles to enable them to extinguish the remainder of the fire in the roof.
A temporary road closure was put in place whilst firefighters attended to the blaze.