A COUPLE are coming to terms with severe damage to their home of 41 years following a fire which began next door.

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Two neighbouring properties in Anchor Lane, Lakenheath, were involved in the blaze which was spotted at about 3.30pm on Tuesday.

Mike and Anne Chambers, who are retired, had been out shopping when they returned home to find the fence on fire at the back of the property. They tried to use a hose pipe, but soon realised this was not going to work and called the fire brigade.

The blaze, which is believed to have began as a bonfire in the garden of the neighbouring property, has meant the extension to their home is now unsafe to enter.

The original part of their home – which Mrs Chambers said used to be the old Anchor Inn and was at least 400 years old – is stable.

The neighbouring property, which was unoccupied, is said to be structurally stable, but a number of outbuildings were destroyed.

Mrs Chambers said while it was their home, the main thing was that they were unhurt.

She said: “It’s just a very unfortunate accident. What can we do? We are fine.”

Yesterday, the couple said they were unable to stay in the older part of their house as there was no electricity or water, not to mention the hole in the wall caused by the fire.

They were waiting for loss adjusters to arrive so they can plan their next steps.

Mrs Chambers said: “I just don’t know what to do for the best. Last night [Tuesday] we thought hopefully we could stay in the front two rooms, but we couldn’t.”

The couple managed to stay with neighbours the night after the fire. They said their neighbours have been brilliant and also wanted to thank the firefighters.

While crews worked to put out the fire they also helped remove possessions from the building.

Crews from Brandon, Mildenhall and Norfolk were sent to the scene. The effort involved 15 firefighters.

A spokeswoman for the fire service said the blaze, which was out at about 6.40pm, was not under investigation.

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