Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 22°C

min temp: 13°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Gallery: Update - Courageous neighbours praised in Battisford thatched roof fire drama

21:43 20 March 2014

Emergency services at the scene of a thatch fire in Battisford.

Emergency services at the scene of a thatch fire in Battisford.

Archant

Courageous neighbours were showered with soot and embers yesterday as they braved a burning building to rescue possessions inside.

shares

Around 50 firefighters attended Battisford, near Stowmarket, just before 5pm after the detached thatched cottage in Mill Road caught alight.

Area commander John Cook said it was a “deep-seated fire” that was well developed when the first crews arrived.

“They made a strenuous effort to extinguish the fire and pull that thatch off the roof to stop it spreading,” he said.

“Unfortunately it was too far developed and it ripped through all of the thatch and most of the roof.

“It was a deep-seated fire with a strong hold in the thatch and with the wind as it was, despite sterling efforts, there was not a lot we could do.”

Neighbours who helped rescue the homeowners’ possessions from the fire have been praised for their courageous efforts.

“They were absolutely fantastic,” Mr Cook added.

Mark Bloomfield, a 49-year-old removals worker who lives opposite, was one of the community-spirited helpers who managed to save almost all the contents.

“A couple of firefighters said they needed some bods to get the stuff out and about eight to 10 of us offered to help,” he said. “We were in and out and the smoke was billowing around the house.

“We were showered with soot and water - it was quite hair raising.”

Many of the neighbouring residents gathered in the nearby Punch Bowl Inn having been being left without electricity when UK Power Networks were asked to cut the supply.

Graham Card, a 59-year-old insurance consultant, spoke of his pride in the villagers’ response to the situation.

“It must be a reflection of the community spirt in the village that so many people turned out,” he said.

“We will be out there again tomorrow,” added Jonathan Pope, 67, who helped store the possessions out of harm’s way.

Lesley Chisolm said she believed the occupants of the house had just started their wood burner when the fire started.

Ailsa, her 24-year-old daughter had just returned from the gym with her sister Cheryl when they saw the road filled with firefighters.

“We could barely see anything but smoke and flames through the roof,” she said.

Mr Cook said his crews would remain on site until tomorrow morning to keep the fire out and investigate its cause.

At the height of the fire, up to 15 engines were on site along with the command unit from Ixworth, a water carrier from Newmarket and the multi-star - a fire engine with a aerial rescue capabilities - from Bury St Edmunds,

With three thatch fires taking hold in Suffolk over recent weeks, Mr Cook has urged homeowners to be extra cautious.

shares

0 comments

Andrew Gaskell, who was almost totally paralised in a scrum accident playing for Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club in 1998, lost body hair in a bid to raise £5.500 for a standing wheelchair.

A former Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club player who was partially paralysed in a scrum accident 17 years ago has gone for the smooth-bodied look in a bid to raise more than £5,000 for a specialist piece of equipment.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Rail delays at Colchester have been caused by a broken down train.

Rendlesham Care Centre rated ‘good’ by CQC (L-R) Danielle Brown, Administrator; Liz Slight, Home Manager; Maxine Crisp, Carer; Fabian Lossa, Carer; Rachael Last, Receptionist

Rendlesham Care Centre was found to provide a safe, effective, caring, responsive and well-led service according to the CQC report.

A diversion has been put in place

Severe traffic delays in Chelmsford have been caused by a traffic collision.

Woodbridge Carnival fireworks 2015.

People in an east Suffolk town are being asked to vote with their cash if they want a fireworks display next year.

Station Hill in Bury St Edmunds, which is being redeveloped.

Plans for more than 100 flats near the train station in Bury St Edmunds - an area of the town that is earmarked for regeneration - have been recommended to be refused.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Therese Coffey (centre) with members of her team and Fern Howard (left) from the Alzheimer’s Society

It follows a visit by the Alzheimer’s Society, who run the Dementia Friends scheme, to help Dr Coffey and her staff understand the effect of dementia on everyday lives.

Lifeboat

Coastguard services were called to rescue a teenager in Corton, near Lowestoft yesterday evening.

Major fire at a fish and chip shop on Beach Road in Hemsby.

Picture: James Bass

Villagers and businesses in Hemsby have vowed to pull together after a huge fire ripped through a chip shop.

Five of the Ipswich drugs gang were jailed.

A professional organised crime group who dealt drugs in Ipswich were sentenced today.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages