'It could have been a lot worse' - Thatched home owner thanks crews after fire

Hundon thatched roof fire

The house in Hundon was left severely damaged after a thatched roof fire - Credit: Johnny Griffith

A homeowner has thanked firefighters for quickly bringing a thatched roof blaze under control and preventing even worse damage.

More than a dozen fire crews fought the fire in Clockhall Lane, Hundon, near Haverhill, which broke out just before 5.30pm today (Thursday, May 6).

Hundon thatched roof blaze Suffolk

Part of the roof around the chimney has been left exposed after the fire in Hundon - Credit: Johnny Griffith

Two hours later, firefighters said the flames had been extinguished, after they cut away part of the thatched roof to stop the blaze from spreading. 

Owner of the house Celia Stevens, who was home at the time and alerted the emergency services, said the fire could have been a lot worse if the fire crews did not act as swiftly as they did.

Mrs Stevens, who lives with her partner Ian McDonald, and has lived in the cottage for nearly 20 years, added: "I heard a noise so I ran outside and looked and I could see the smoke coming out and small bits of fire on the thatch so I ran straight in and rang the fire brigade.

"By the time I had moved our two cars and got some stuff out, the Clare fire brigade had already got here within less than 10 minutes. I was unbelievably amazed by that. 

"They managed to stop the fire. They stripped out about a third of the thatch in the middle all around the chimney. All there is quite a mess upstairs because of all the water, downstairs is not too bad. 

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"Although it is pretty grim it could be a lot, lot worse.

Crews from across Suffolk were able to contain the fire and stop it from spreading across the thatched roof

Crews from across Suffolk were able to contain the fire and stop it from spreading across the thatched roof - Credit: Johnny Griffith

"I have lived in thatched cottages pretty much all my life and this is the first time this has happened."

Andy Message, a Station Manager for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said he was proud of how quickly the crews responded to the fire. 

He said: "We had a large attendance of crews early on the scene because we need as many people in the early stages to work really hard.

"The crews got here and made a break in the thatch, as thatched roofs are designed for water to run off them we needed to strip the thatch quickly.

"The crews worked really hard in really arduous conditions and they did a really exceptional job and managed to prevent the spread of the fire across the whole roof."

No-one was injured and firefighters have said that they will stay on the scene to monitor the incident and check for hot-spots.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

Crews from Woodbridge, Beccles, Sudbury, Long Melford, Clare, Haverhill, Wickhambrook, Bury St Edmunds, Ixworth and Newmarket were all called to the scene. 

Hundon thatched roof fire

The scene of the fire in Hundon - Credit: Johnny Griffith

Earlier this month, 23 crews from across Suffolk and Norfolk battled a thatched fire in Thwaite, near Eye, which destroyed the roof of a two-storey home.


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