Ardleigh cottage fire: Investigation into cause begins
- Credit: Archant
Firefighters are investigating the cause of a devastating fire at a 17th century cottage in Ardleigh, near Colchester after Essex fire crews battled the blaze through the night.
The blaze set the thatched roof completely alight at Blue Barns Cottage in Ardleigh, near Colchester, and at its height was battled by 12 crews.
They worked through the night in freezing temperatures to tackle the fire at the house in Harts Lane, which broke out at around 4.50pm on Sunday.
Hotspots within the fire caused flames to burst through the thatched roof as it was being taken down – with emergency workers just inches away from the blaze as they attempted to extinguish it.
At 11.30pm the firefighters had removed around 90% of the thatch while crews continued to dampen down burning material and the surrounding areas.
You may also want to watch:
The crews pumped water and forked out burning thatch to control the fire before relief firefighters were able to completely extinguish it.
The fire was finally put out completely by 6.30am.
- 1 Man arrested after car crashes into supermarket sign
- 2 Emotional moment as family decides to cease farming in-hand
- 3 New online booking system for Suffolk recycling centres
- 4 Fuller Flavour: Can we sign Bonne permanently, please?
- 5 Flooding leaves main route through town 'impassable'
- 6 'We are sorry' - Council apologises for letting SEND children in Suffolk down
- 7 'We'll see how we go' - QPR boss Warburton on Bonne recall option
- 8 Ndaba on Salford, Neville's advice, his brush with Ronaldo-mania and his goal of reaching the Ipswich Town first-team
- 9 Five fire engines called to red deer trapped in tree
- 10 Suspected drink driver flees scene after car destroyed in crash
Two fire crews remained at the scene into Monday to monitor the wreckage while an investigation into the cause of the fire got underway.
Speaking at the scene on Sunday night, incident commander Lee Lucas of Essex fire service said: “The only way to fight this fire was to pitch ladders up to the roof to remove the thatch – by the time we had done that it had broken through.
“All the firefighters are using breathing apparatus and working at height rigs to stay safe in their teams.
“We used a very traditional form of firefighting – it’s our crews using forks to pull the thatch down, soaking it and extinguishing it.
“The dangers we have at this incident are the lack of light and cold conditions though the night so to mitigate this we’re using the thatch to line the road and stop the ice forming.”
The owners of the property have declined to comment. Fire chiefs said no-one was hurt in the blaze.
Station manager Martyn Hare added: “We had crews inside the building, salvaging historical contents and protecting the property from further damage.
“Often thatch fires can take a lot of manpower to tackle and our firefighters did a brilliant job in difficult conditions.”