Fire rips through cottage

A COTTAGE in the heart of a picturesque village was devastated by fire yesterday.Thirty firefighters battled a blaze in an end terrace cottage in Castle Hedingham, which broke out at about 5pm.

By Juliette Maxam

A COTTAGE in the heart of a picturesque village was devastated by fire yesterday.

Thirty firefighters battled a blaze in an end terrace cottage in Castle Hedingham, which broke out at about 5pm.

The flames spread into the neighbouring cottage, destroying its roof, but firefighters wearing breathing apparatus managed to stop the fire damaging a third house.


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Villagers stood in the village churchyard, within sight of the historic castle, watching five fire crews tackling the blaze in Church Pond.

The owner of the cottage where the fire started, Pat Green, was just about to move into her new home, according to her granddaughter Lydia Green, who was an eyewitness.

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Miss Green, 16, and her friend Katie Bull, 16, both of Castle Hedingham, moved Mrs Green's belongings into the cottage on Tuesday.

Mrs Green had been staying with Miss Green before moving into the cottage.

"We got a phonecall at about 5pm. There was smoke coming from the roof. There was lots of smoke and then flames coming out of the roof," said Miss Green. "We are all in shock,"

Station Officer Nigel Acres, of Halstead fire station, said the fire started in a boiler room at the back of the house and was probably caused by an electrical fault. He added that it was not suspicious.

At the height of the blaze there were five fire crews from Halstead, Wethersfield, Clare and Sudbury, and two police cars in the tiny street, which is nestled between the church and castle.

Mr Acres said the roof and the first floor of Mrs Green's house and the roof of the house next door were destroyed.

No-one was in either cottage at the time the fire broke out.

Fire crews evacuated people from the third cottage along, but everyone else in the street were able to stay in their homes.

Firefighters were due to remain at the scene for several hours last night damping down hot spots.

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