By Tom Potter
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
AFTER fire ripped through this historic Suffolk farmhouse all that remained was a smouldering ruin.
But almost two-and-a-half years after fire destroyed its thatch roof and robbed a family of most of their possessions, owner Kim Porter is delighted to see her restoration dream come true.
The listed 16th Century home was gutted by flames in October 2011, leaving the mother-of-two with little but memories of Yew Tree Farm, in Bedingfield, near Eye.
However, careful restoration of the building began last September and is now complete - inside and out.
The NHS clerical assistant, who moved with her children after the fire to Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, praised the work of Suffolk Building Services for leading the restoration, which had to conform to strict regulations and consents.
She said: “They had to literally build from head height up. There isn’t a single nail in the entire roof and everything had to be done to Grade II requirements.
“I never thought I’d see it like this. We lost almost everything in the fire.
“I was left with the clothes I was standing in but the neighbours were amazing and managed to get the children’s clothes and a lot of furniture out.
“The house was falling down around us and they tried to salvage what they could from my room, but the fire brigade got them out before the thatch started falling on their heads. I’ll never be able to repay the debt I owe them for what they did.”
At the height of the blazed, about 60 firefighters from around the county were involved in trying to extinguish the flames.
The thatch now has a one-hour fire resistant barrier, designed to provide protection over the rafters and underneath the thatch.
The house is currently on the market for £340,000 through Eye estate agent Harrison Edge.