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'We are just so thankful to everybody' - Rougham fire family a day on

PUBLISHED: 16:47 10 February 2019

The scene in High Rougham, not far from Blackthorpe Barns, as firefighters tackle a blaze in a thatched property Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

The scene in High Rougham, not far from Blackthorpe Barns, as firefighters tackle a blaze in a thatched property Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

MARIAM GHAEMI

A family who lost their thatched home in a fire yesterday want to thank everybody for offers of help and support.

A close-up of firefighters working in testing conditions due to high winds Picture: MARIAM GHAEMIA close-up of firefighters working in testing conditions due to high winds Picture: MARIAM GHAEMI

The detached house in High Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, went up in flames on the morning of Saturday, February 9, with the efforts of firefighters hampered by strong winds.

Couple Emily Dixon, 37, and William Hardy, 34, who have two children between them, had been renting the property from the Rougham Estate and the family are now staying with relatives.

Mr Hardy and his young son had been in the property at the time the blaze was spotted by passersby, but Ms Dixon and her daughter had not been at home.

More than 40 firefighters worked at the scene, dousing the flames with water while removing the thatch and also salvaging the family’s belongings.

Dozens of firefighters are battling a blaze in a thatched roof in Rougham Picture: ARCHANTDozens of firefighters are battling a blaze in a thatched roof in Rougham Picture: ARCHANT

Ms Dixon, a special teaching assistant at the Priory School in Bury St Edmunds, said: “We have got amazing family and friends - just messaging all the while and asking if we are okay and if there’s anything we need.

“We are just so thankful to everybody. You cannot do it on your own. You just go through the motions. It doesn’t seem real.”

READ MORE: Family talk of the distress of losing their home in fire



The fire service was alerted to the blaze just after 10am on Saturday and got it under control just after 6pm that day.

They sent eight appliances, along with the Multistar from Bury St Edmunds, a water bowser from Newmarket and support vehicles, to the detached house, which is owned by the Rougham Estate.

Group commander Ian Mallet said when the first crew arrived it was “a rapidly escalating job” due to the windy conditions, which led to all the thatch being on fire.

He said a “large proportion” of the occupants’ contents had been salvaged.

Ms Dixon and Mr Hardy said they were “really grateful” to the firefighters for working tirelessly to salvage their possessions.

Speaking at the scene of the blaze, she said: “It’s not our house, we rent it, but it’s our home and we obviously love it. It’s surreal standing here.”

Mr Hardy added: “We are really grateful, and for those people who came by as well. I don’t know really what would have happened if they hadn’t gone past.”

A fire investigation was carried out today, but the results are not yet known.

The blaze is not believed to be suspicious.

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