The rodents are believed to have gnawed their way through cables sparking the blaze at the property belonging to former MP Lord Mayhew on Wednesday afternoon. Firefighters battled the flames for almost two hours at the two-storey cottage in Goudhurst near Cranbrook Kent currently inhabited by tenants. Lord Mayhew told the Kent Messenger “The fire broke out in a void behind an airing cupboard and the most probable cause was squirrels chewing through cables.” A spokeswoman for Kent Fire and Rescue Service estimated about 90 of the first floor and roof void had been “severely damaged”. “The rest of the property was damaged by smoke and heat ” she said. But Lord Mayhew said he was confident restoration of the 1890s property is possible. Four rescue crews attended the fire at 12.39pm. No one was injured in the blaze. The spokeswoman added that the cause of the fire was as yet unknown but squirrels chewing wires and the wires igniting “does sometimes happen”. Lord Mayhew was MP for Tunbridge Wells between 1974 and 1997 and Attorney General for England and Wales and Northern Ireland from 1987 to 1992. He was knighted in 1983 and became a member of the House of Lords in 1997.
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