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Huge fire breaks out at 400-year-old thatched cottage

PUBLISHED: 21:00 20 January 2019 | UPDATED: 22:03 20 January 2019

The Hazmat unit is also at the scene Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

The Hazmat unit is also at the scene Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

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Firefighters are battling a blaze at a 400-year-old thatched cottage in Ardleigh, Essex.

Dozens of firefighters are at the scene of a cottage blaze in Ardleigh, Essex Picture: JAKE FOXFORDDozens of firefighters are at the scene of a cottage blaze in Ardleigh, Essex Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

Nine fire crews from across Essex were called at 4.50pm to the historic cottage in Harts Lane, Ardleigh, after reports of a fire in the roof.

The road is currently closed to traffic at the Old Ipswich Road end while firefighters work at the scene.

Firefighters are putting out flames at a 400-year-old cottage in Ardleigh, Essex Picture: JAKE FOXFORDFirefighters are putting out flames at a 400-year-old cottage in Ardleigh, Essex Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

This is affecting motorists coming off at the A12 junction, but a diversion is in place.

When firefighters arrived at the blaze they found the thatched roof of the building completely engulfed in flames.

Teams from across north Essex are battling the blaze Picture: JAKE FOXFORDTeams from across north Essex are battling the blaze Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

Station manager Martyn Hare said: “Crews are working hard to control and tackle the fire by removing the thatch from the roof.

“We also have crews inside the building, salvaging historical contents and protecting the property from further damage.

Crews are expected to remain at the scene in Harts Lane, Ardleigh, overnight Picture: JAKE FOXFORDCrews are expected to remain at the scene in Harts Lane, Ardleigh, overnight Picture: JAKE FOXFORD

“Often thatch fires can take a lot of man-power to tackle and our firefighters are doing a brilliant job in difficult conditions.

“We anticipate the fire will take some time to completely extinguish and so we expect to be at the incident throughout the night.”

Firefighters are still at the scene extinguishing the roof and salvaging as many items from the burning building as they can.

• Stay with us for updates on this developing story as we receive more information from emergency services.

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