Firefighters save converted barn

AROUND 30 firefighters from across two counties battled to save a luxurious converted barn on the Suffolk/Essex border from complete destruction last night.

AROUND 30 firefighters from across two counties battled to save a luxurious converted barn on the Suffolk/Essex border from complete destruction last night.

The blaze broke out in the roof of the large detached property off Ryes Lane in Little Henny, Essex, just outside Sudbury.

Although firefighters managed to save the main part of the property, an entire wing of the converted home was left severely gutted.

Fire crews battled against stretched resources and the difficulty of the remote location to save the majority of the building.


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A fire crew from Clare arrived on the scene at around 4.45pm and were soon backed by two crews from Halstead, and others from Coggeshall and Braintree.

They found the roof of an old coach house which had been converted into an extra wing of the home ablaze.

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Firefighters spent around two hours battling to prevent the blaze spreading to the rest of the property and crews staggered shifts through the night damping down and monitoring hot spots.

Station commander Alan Rayner, who is based in Harlow, Essex, said: "The fire started in the roof space and spread to a side wing of the house. Half of the roof of the wing has been lost and the inside of the building has been completely gutted.

"The crews from across Suffolk and Essex worked extremely hard so save a large part of the building. They are to be commended because we had very stretched resources today and they were working in a very remote and confined area."

The fire is believed to have started when a heating engineer was soldering in a roof space and Station Commander Rayner has issued a warning for people to remain vigilant at this time of year.

He said: "I would like to warn of the dangers of workman soldering in confined spaces, particularly in particularly hot spells like today.

"As a fire safety message I would urge people to be extra cautious during the hot spells when our resources are stretched to the maximum."

The owners of the property declined to comment on the fire last night.

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