Video/gallery: Family of six escape “ferocious” fire which devastated house in Pound Lane, Capel St Mary
09:45 25 February 2014
A family of six has escaped from a “ferocious” house fire in Capel St Mary this morning.
Fire crews were called to the property in Pound Lane at around 5am where a fire consumed the house in which three generations of the family were living.
All six of them were asleep when the fire started however the grandmother was woken by the noise of the blaze. She woke up before the fire alarm sounded and alerted the rest of the family to what was going on.
All the family members made it out of the property in time and were taken in by a neighbour, however the flames spread throughout the building and have destroyed it utterly. Two cars also caught fire and were burned out.
Investigators believe the fire could have been started accidentally by a log burner.
Initially fire crews thought the fire was in a thatched roof, but they quickly discovered that it was much more serious. Eventually two fire engines from Ipswich, two from Colchester, an aerial ladder platform and support pump from Ipswich East and a control unit and support pump from Woodbridge were required at the scene.
Station commander Jon Southgate said: “We received a call at approximately 05.00 hours to what was initially reported as a thatched roof on fire. The first crews in attendance confirmed that it wasn’t in fact a thatch. The crews were faced with a fully developed fire involving the whole of the roof, end to end on this detached, single-storey bungalow.”
Despite difficulties in accessing fire hydrants in the rural setting as well as a live power cable across the lane, the crews were able to bring the fire under control. However even when it was extinguished fire fighters were unable to get inside the building because the structure was so unstable.
“Despite our best efforts, unfortunately we’ve seen a total loss of the building and all its contents. We’ve not yet been able to make access inside, because of the unsafe structure.”
Mr Southgate said the family had been “devastated” by their loss.
“The sad part is that all they’ve got left is what they’re standing up in,” he said. “They’re very traumatised by it, they’ve got good support from the neighbours which is essential, but they’ve got a tough path ahead of them trying to find a way forward.”
An investigation has been launched into how the fire began and fire fighters have said there is nothing suspicious at this time.
Mr Young, who is a neighbour of the family, said he had heard crackling and snapping from the fire and believed it was something in his own garden. When he saw the fire he called the fire brigade.
He said the fire was, “quite ferocious… It was really roaring quite high. I could see all the debris flying across the fields, our concern was it was going to arrive in our hay barn and set fire to that and then five minutes later the sheds next to it and then our building here.”
He said the fire brigade brought the fire under control quickly after arriving.
Click on our gallery to see the aftermath of the fire.