Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Video: Elderly couple and another man forced to flee homes as thatch fire engulfs properties in Norwich Road, Barham

18:42 14 April 2014

The blaze that engulfed thatched cottages in Barham, which has led to the nearby Norwich Road being closed for several days.

The blaze that engulfed thatched cottages in Barham, which has led to the nearby Norwich Road being closed for several days.

An elderly couple and one other man were forced to flee their homes yesterday afternoon after what began as a thatch fire engulfed two properties.

shares

Suffolk Fire and Rescue were called to the scene of a pair of semi-detached houses on the Norwich Road in Barham yesterday after reports of a thatch fire.

Smoke from the fire was visible to motorists travelling on the A14.

Group Commander Dave Pedersen said that upon arrival the crews immediately realised it was an “intense fire” and called for back-up; a total of eight fire engines and an aerial ladder platform were involved in quelling the flames.

The damage caused by the blaze is “very extensive”, said Mr Pedersen, and involved the roof and both floors of both properties, resulting in two dormer windows collapsing in to the first floor. The thatched roof is being stripped away.

Last night a neighbour of the property owners said they were “devastated” by what had happened and the Salvation Army have attended the scene to help.

Fire crews have tried to salvage as much of the properties and the owners’ possessions as possible.

Mr Pedersen said: “It’s a pair of semis and the fire spread from the roof, which is a combined roof, down on to the first floor of both properties.

“We will undertake a full investigation when we’re able to. We’ll be interviewing the occupiers and we’ll also be looking to carry out our own investigation into what the cause was.”

Although there were no injuries, an ambulance was called as a precaution to administer a health check on the elderly couple due to the level of smoke.

The properties sit in an idyllic country setting and neighbours in the village of Barham who were out walking their dogs said they had only realised what happened when a police officer stopped them due to the road closure.

One neighbour who lives directly adjacent to the properties said workers at a nearby sawmill had spotted the flames on the thatch roof.

David Westgate said the elderly couple who had lived in one of the properties for roughly 15 years were “devastated”.

“I was indoors and I thought I could smell smoke and the fire crews weren’t here then,” he said.

“They’re lovely people, all of them. I think the husband is about 81, and I think his wife is about 77, so you don’t need that at this time of life.”

shares

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other East Anglian Daily Times visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by East Anglian Daily Times staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique East Anglian Daily Times account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Remnants of what is thought to be an 18th century ship found by Mark Hopkins on Thorpeness beach

Remnants of a what is thought to be a centuries-old shipwreck have resurfaced on the Suffolk coast.

The accident happened on the A12 at Chelmsford

All lanes have now reopened on the A12 at Chelmsford following an accident in which a man died this morning.

A120 closed after serious crash.

The A120 is closed in both directions at Braintree following a serious crash this evening.

A collision on East Mersea Road between a bus and a low-loader lorry which was carrying a steam engine.  Photo: Su Anderson

A bus driver who was critically injured in a crash involving a lorry carrying a 15 tonne steam engine told emergency teams to leave him and help his passengers instead.

How will you make your Valentine feel special this weekend?

A secret admirer has come clean about his feelings for a shop assistant in Ipswich - could you be the object of his affections?

The Lego exhibition at Moyses Hall Museum in Bury St Edmunds. One of the exhibits on show.

Lego enthusiasts in Suffolk are being pitted against one another in a ‘brick off’ competition.

The BP garage on the A134 in Sudbury has been ram raided in the early hours. Reports suggest the ATM has been removed.

Two people have been arrested and released on bail following a ram raid in Sudbury.

Most read

Fred Olsen Travel Sale

cover

Click here to view
the Fred Olsen
Travel Sale

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24