Clare community in shock after woman’s body found in house following fire

Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service attend a fatal fire in Nethergate Street in Clare

Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service attend a fatal fire in Nethergate Street in Clare - Credit: Su Anderson

A Suffolk community is today in shock after an elderly woman died in a house fire.

Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service attend a fatal fire in Nethergate Street in Clare

Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service attend a fatal fire in Nethergate Street in Clare - Credit: Su Anderson

The fire service and police were called to the blaze at the detached home off Nethergate Street in Clare just after 7.30am today when a 16-year-old paperboy raised the alarm.

The occupant of the house has been named locally as Bridget Burgess. A formal identification has yet to take place.

Paul Bishop, Chairman of Clare Parish Council, said: “As chair of the town council my condolences and sympathies go to the family.

“It’s a tragedy and for a small community like ours it’s a shock.”

Around 60 firefighters battled the flames at the detached home off Nethergate Street in Clare yester

Around 60 firefighters battled the flames at the detached home off Nethergate Street in Clare yesterday after being called at around 7.40am. - Credit: Su Anderson


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A neighbour, who did not want to be named, said Mrs Burgess’ husband had died recently.

“She never came out much. Her husband used to. He used to drive a little scooter.”

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A Clare resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s very sad and I feel very sorry for the family.”

Neighbour Jenny Bohling, 34, said she was woken up by the sound of the fire engines.

Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service attend a fatal fire in Nethergate Street in Clare

Suffolk Fire & Rescue Service attend a fatal fire in Nethergate Street in Clare - Credit: Su Anderson

“I looked out of the window and there was just smoke billowing out of every window and out of the eaves in the roof and they were pouring water into the top floor.”

About 40 firefighters tackled the blaze, which engulfed the first floor and one room in the floor below.

Speaking at the scene, station commander Dave Collins confirmed one person had been found dead and added the search and rescue phase was over.

“We have now started working with colleagues in the police to carry out a full investigation,” he said: “It’s obviously a very testing incident for the crews involved.”

The road was closed and traffic was diverted via Ashen and surrounding villages.

Clare community in shock over woman’s body found in house fire

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