Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 17°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

The number 30 double-decker bus in Tavistock Square in central London. Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images/Pool/PA

Ten years ago today terrorists took the lives of 52 people and injured more than 700 others in London.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court in Ipswich.

A man charged with drink-driving, drug-driving, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police is due to appear in court in Ipswich this morning.

Suffolk Show 2013 Day One
Peter Aldous MP, Dan Poulter MP, Mark Bee Leader of Suffolk County Council, and Annette Thorpe at The Launch of A Better Broadband for Suffolk

Connecting the most remote parts of Suffolk and Norfolk to the internet and phone network must be done together, a Suffolk MP has said.

Richard Gray was one of the 7/7 victims

London will fall silent today in memory of the 52 people killed by the terrorist attacks on July 7, 2005.

The 2014 Party in the Park event in Belle Vue Park in Sudbury.

A marching band, jive dancers and a procession of samba drummers are among the attractions expected to pull in thousands of visitors to a ‘party in the park’ event in west Suffolk this weekend.

Post Office

The branch on High Street will be shut for two weeks and is set for longer opening hours after works.

Damaged bridge at Blunts Hall between Witham and Hatfield Peverel. Picture: Network Rail

Train services in Suffolk and north Essex are being cancelled or delayed for a second morning running due to ongoing emergency bridge repair work.

Bruce Lait with his wife Ildiko, daughter Izabell and son Benjamin

Ten years ago today Ipswich dancers Bruce Lait and Crystal Main escaped with their lives after 7/7 suicide bomber Shehzad Tanweer detonated his device at Aldgate.

Crowds enjoyed the sunshine at Ipswich Music Day 2015 in Christchurch Park.
Ashton Jones and The Innerheart Band.

Thousands turned out to support the acts as Ipswich Music Day beat the weather

Ipswich Crown Court

A van driver who jumped three sets of red traffic lights during a three-mile police car chase in the Ipswich area has walked free from court after a judge decided not to lock him up.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages