Couple devastated by ‘horrific’ death of Buster the Labrador puppy and Ruby the cat after Bury St Edmunds house blaze

Buster the 5-month-old labrador who died in a house fire in Prigg Walk, Bury St Edmunds

Buster the 5-month-old labrador who died in a house fire in Prigg Walk, Bury St Edmunds - Credit: Archant

A family has been left devastated after their much-loved puppy and cat died inside their burning home on the Howard Estate, Bury St Edmunds.

Fire fighters assess the damage at a residential property on Prigg Walk, Bury St Edmunds.

Fire fighters assess the damage at a residential property on Prigg Walk, Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Gregg Brown

The fire started just before 9am yesterday in Prigg Walk, while Kym Cownley-Palfrey and husband Martin were not at home.

Neighbours desperately tried to rescue Buster, a five-month-old Labrador, but despite kicking the door down, could not get inside.

Both the eight-year-old cat Ruby and Buster died from smoke inhalation, while their four-year-old-old cat Tinkerbell has not been found.

“They were like kids to us,” said a tearful Mrs Cownley-Palfrey. “We will miss them so much.

Buster the 5-month-old labrador who died in a house fire in Prigg Walk, Bury St Edmunds, with Tinker

Buster the 5-month-old labrador who died in a house fire in Prigg Walk, Bury St Edmunds, with Tinkerbell the cat, who is missing. - Credit: Archant


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“We were teaching Buster tricks, he was a wonderful puppy. We are just devastated.”

Mrs Cownley-Palfrey was at the hospital when the fire started and was due to visit her mother who was there to have major shoulder surgery. Mr Palfrey had to rush back from his work in Cambridge.

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She said: “We are so grateful to our neighbours. They tried everything to get hold of us and let us know.”

The couple praised the firefighters, who attempted to revive Buster and Ruby with oxygen.

Fire fighters assess the damage at a residential property on Prigg Walk, Bury St Edmunds.

Fire fighters assess the damage at a residential property on Prigg Walk, Bury St Edmunds. - Credit: Gregg Brown

Mrs Cownley-Palfrey said: “We don’t know what caused the fire yet. It has damaged almost everything in the house.

“But you can replace a house and furniture, you can’t replace our pets. We loved Buster and Ruby so much.”

Despite the loss of two adored pets, there is hope Tinkerbell can be found.

“If anyone sees her we would really like to know. She might have been scared off by the fire,” Mr Palfrey said.

Neighbour Terry Miller lives at the back of the burnt house. The 87-year-old described seeing smoke in front of his property and ran round to try and help.

“Me and Gary (the adjoining neighbour) tried to kick the door down, but there was thick black smoke, we couldn’t do a thing,” he said.

“It is horrific, we couldn’t save the puppy and we knew how much they loved him.

“If anyone had been inside, we couldn’t have helped them. The top of the door was melting and thick black smoke was everywhere.”

The fire was brought under control by 10.30am, with three crews dispatched to help fight the blaze in the mid-terrace house.

The two adjoining properties have also been affected by the smoke, but it is unknown how much damage was caused.

A crew from Bury St Edmunds remained at the house until late afternoon and paramedics also attended in the morning, but no one required treatment.

The two adjoining properties have been affected by the smoke, but it is unknown how much damage was caused.

If you spot the missing Tinkerbell, the owners have asked if you can contact the EADT on 01284 727400 or email matt.reason@archant.co.uk.

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