Fire crews praised after thatch blaze

A MOTHER and daughter praised the response of the fire brigade yesterday after a blaze developed in the roof of their thatched cottage.Firefighters battled with fire for more than 3 hours yesterday in the Essex village of Great Dunmow.

A MOTHER and daughter praised the response of the fire brigade yesterday after a blaze developed in the roof of their thatched cottage.

Firefighters battled with fire for more than 3 hours yesterday in the Essex village of Great Dunmow.

Sally Boyd, said she was lucky that it was her day off, or the blaze might not have been discovered until it was too late.

Mrs Boyd, who has lived in the thatched cottage on Beaumont Hill for 14 years, said: “I was inside and I could smell smoke. I thought it was a bonfire, so I put my head out the window and saw the roof smoking.”


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The 46-year-old, who lives with her two daughters, Emily, 17, who was at home at the time, and Hettie, 14, called the fire brigade at 2.45pm and said they were there within minutes.

She added: “I just called Emily and we got out. I moved the car and we could hear the fire engine coming up.

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“I just left them to it, they've got their jobs to do. The whole of the back garden is covered in straw from the roof.”

Emily said: “When my mum called me I just shut my bedroom window and got out. At first I thought she might have been joking, and then that it wasn't that bad.

“The fire brigade came really quickly, and when they got here they just told us to stay outside.

“A fireman found one of our cats under the kitchen table, but we don't know where the others are.”

Firefighters from six crews used hose reel jets, breathing apparatus and roof ladders to fight the fire and stripped away the straw to create a fire break and prevent the fire from spreading.

Police closed the road for several hours and schoolchildren finishing the first day of the new term were among the onlookers.

Assistant Divisional Officer Stuart McMillan said: “Crews worked really hard and did a fantastic job in preventing the spread of this fire and finally putting it out.”

The first crew from Dunmow was joined by crews from Leaden Roding, Thaxted Stansted and two from Braintree.

n Firefighters had to deal with another blaze yesterday when the kitchen of a semi-detached home in Spurgeon Close, Sible Hedingham caught alight.

The two crews from Halstead were called at about 3.15pm, and the fire was put out by 4pm. A 26-year-old man suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation received treatment from the ambulance service.

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