“They took seven minutes to get to me,” he said. “If they came from Stratford, which I understand is being considered as a possibility, that house would’ve burnt down.”

Last month Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service announced cuts of £2.4 million which include proposals to remove 24-hour coverage in Alcester, leaving the station manned from 10am to 10pm.

It’s been met with concern in the town and surrounding villages, magnified by a couple of high-profile fires outside those times.

Mr Morel, who is a Director of Edward Moons Restaurant in Stratford and a founder of Edward Moons Proper Pies, described the fire as “very distressing”, but he said the firefighters were “brilliant”.

“I thought the fire service did a fantastic job,” he said. “Not only professionally but in terms of their patience, their kindness and their consideration. They saved the house which I really did not believe was savable.”

Crews were forced to stay overnight to control the blaze after Mr Morel called the fire service at 7.10pm.

Everybody was safely out of the house by the time the emergency services arrived, although police had to cordon off the road.

According to neighbour Maureen McTavish, the beautiful wooden building used to belong to Baroness Von Twickel, sister of Sir Robert Throckmorton, 11th Baronet of Coughton Court.

Mr Morel, the current homeowner, said a “substantial amount” of damage had been done although he is still waiting to find out how much.

At the end of last month, a mother whose car suddenly shot up in flames outside her home in Arrow Crescent, Alcester, at 8am said her house would have been lost had the firefighters come from Stratford.

Katheryn Conway’s Renault Clio shot up in flames after an electrical fault.