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Smoke had started to drift from the kitchen into other rooms in the seven-bedroom house. An automatic alarm system summoned the fire fighters to the 17th century South Pavilion in Wotton Underwood.
The first crew to arrive from the nearby village of Haddenham found no evidence of an actual fire. The alarm was raised soon after 9.30 a.m by automatic fire sensors at the Grade 1 listed home, which is monitored by a security firm.
Control staff at the receiving centre immediately made a 999 call to the Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service, which mobilised three fire engines.
The crew from Haddenham was followed by another from Aylesbury and a third from Thame, Oxon, which was turned back once the first fire fighters had arrived.
The Blairs were cooking breakfast when the smoke alarm went off. Because they live in a Grade 1 listed building, the smoke alarm is automatically connected to the local fire station, so the fire brigade sprang into action immediately.
"In fact it was just smoke without a fire but by the time Mrs Blair rang the fire service to tell them they didn't need to come, they were already on their way.