A BRIERLEY nursing home was evacuated in the early hours of Tuesday morning after a fire in the basement.

The 22 residents at Bollingbroke House were moved to sister home Willoughby House in Cudworth after smoke began coming through when two large hay bales were deliberately set on fire.

Manager Chris Nicholson said: “The police think it was arson and that whoever did this was setting fire to rubber casing around some wire to steal the copper.

“The hay down there was left over from a duck pond that we had stored down there. All credit must go to the night staff on duty.

“They called in 10 extra carers to help them, and initially moved all of the residents to a safe area of the home before it was decided that it would be best to take them to another home.”

Firefighters were at the home for more than two hours, though Chris said the fire has caused minimal interior damage.

He added: “It is mainly just smoke damage and the smell was pretty strong at first. Apart from repairs to the electrics and replacing a couple of doors, the cost will be minimal.

“The residents were naturally a little shocked at first when the fire alarm started going off just before midnight, but now they just want to return back to their home.”