Sixteen fire crews battle large thatched farmhouse blaze
PUBLISHED: 20:08 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 23:16 07 April 2020
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service
Dozens of firefighters were called to a large blaze threatening to destroy a thatched farmhouse near Saxmundham.
Sixteen fire crews from stations across the county were called to the property in Rendham Road, Carlton, just after 6.10pm this evening.
Rescuers arrived to find a farmhouse, measuring about 20 metres by 10 metres, almost entirely engulfed in flames.
Nevertheless, firefighters were able to carry out some salvage work and begin to strip the thatch from the detached building’s roof.
The police and UK Power Networks engineers were also sent to the scene.
A power line came down and fell onto the property as a result of the fire, requiring engineers to isolate the power supply.
Crews from Woodbridge, Framlingham, Orford, Aldeburgh, Leiston, Saxmundham, Wrentham, Southwold, Halesworth, Stradbroke, Debenham, Haverhill and Lowestoft South stations made up the team sent to tackle the blaze.
Residents living nearby were advised to close their windows and doors, while others were told to avoid the area if possible.
Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said the flames had been extinguished at 8.33pm.
Russell Punchard, incident commander and watch manager for Lowestoft station, said about 65 firefighters attended the blaze.
One fire crew was initially sent to the farm but another was immediately required to attend.
Two soon became five, before that number doubled to 10.
The roof was 95% alight when Mr Punchard arrived at the scene.
Firefighters split into two teams; one fighting the roof blaze and the other salvaging property from the ground floor.
Mr Punchard said four crews of firefighters were expected to remain on scene overnight.
He said the cause of the fire was not yet known but that an investigation would start in the morning
He said the single track land had proved a challenge for firefighters to gain access to the property.
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