Former farmhouse damaged in fierce blaze
MORE than £100,000 worth of damage has been caused to a former farmhouse by a mystery blaze.A motorist half a mile away on the A140 road raised the alarm after seeing flames engulfing Coulsey Wood Farmhouse, Mill Lane, Thwaite, near Eye, which is set in about two acres of land a few hundred yards from Stoke Ash Primary School.
MORE than £100,000 worth of damage has been caused to a former farmhouse by a mystery blaze.
A motorist half a mile away on the A140 road raised the alarm after seeing flames engulfing Coulsey Wood Farmhouse, Mill Lane, Thwaite, near Eye,
which is set in about two acres of land a few hundred yards from Stoke Ash Primary School.
The fire which started at 01.23am yesterday completely destroyed the first floor rooms and the tiled roof. The ground floor suffered severe smoke and water damage.
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Fire crews from Eye, Debenham, Stradbroke, Stowmarket and Diss fought the blaze, using water from the moat which surrounds the house.
The owners, who live in London, were not at the property when the alarm was raised.
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Builders currently renovating a large conservatory at the back of the house found the property in ruins when they arrived for work yesterday morning.
Assistant Divisional Officer, Ian Bowell, said it had not proved possible to fight the blaze from inside the house because of the danger caused by the collapsing roof.
The central chimney stack also collapsed at one stage during the fire-fighting operation.
Mr Bowell said the cause of the fire had not yet been established. "We are keeping an open mind while we conduct a full investigation," he added.
Ten hours after the alarm had been raised firefighters were still sifting through the ground floor area trying to salvage pictures and other objects.
Villagers said the house had been owned by the same family for years and had been used mainly at weekends.
The owners, Mr and Mrs Luby, could not be contacted last night.