CHESHIRE Fire and Rescue Service says the fire that destroyed a row of Grade II listed cottages last Thursday was accidental.
A spokesman explained that the fire ‘was possibly caused by a stray firework’ and not deliberate.
The blaze, at the Grade II listed black-and-white cottages in High Street, was reported at 8pm on Thursday, September 8.
A spokesman said: “Four fire engines were sent to the scene but on arrival an aerial appliance and a further four fire engines were requested as the fire had spread.
“Cheshire had appliances from Malpas, Chester, Ellesmere Port and Tarporley on the scene while North Wales Fire and Rescue Service had two engines and an aerial appliance from Wrexham and a further engine from Deeside.
“Firefighters used five hose reel jets to tackle the blaze.
“The fire started in the middle cottage out of a row of three and spread to those on each side. Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus went into the end cottages to tackle the fire.
“After getting the fire under control, crews withdrew from inside the cottages and firefighters in the aerial appliances sprayed water on the roofs and began to pull away the thatched roof.”
All residents were able to get out of their homes safely and there were no reported injuries.
Neighbour David Birch said: “It was just a little bit to start with but it spread quickly. The fire service did a good job.
“I saw flames shooting out of the top of the thatch and there was smoke everywhere.”
Rumours were circulating on social networking site Twitter that the fire was started by youths who threw a firework, but Cheshire Constabulary said there have been no arrests in connection with the incident.