Gallery: Family left homeless after thatched cottage blaze in Langham

The thatched house in Langham which was badly damaged by a fire.

The thatched house in Langham which was badly damaged by a fire. - Credit: Archant

A blaze at a thatched cottage in a village near the Suffolk/Essex border tackled by firefighters for around seven hours overnight has left a family homeless.

Langham cottage fire. Photo: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Langham cottage fire. Photo: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service - Credit: Archant

Thirteen fire engines were called to the blaze at the detached property in School Road, Langham at around 7pm on Friday.

Around a quarter of the thatched roof was engulfed in flames as firefighters battled the blaze before it was extinguished shortly after 2am.

The family living at the cottage was not trapped or injured but they have been left homeless, according to Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) divisional officer Gary Jeffrey, incident commander.

He said: “Firefighters had to cut into the wire covering the thatched roof and then use cromes to strip back the thatch which was tightly packed together to reach the fire.

“The crews’ excellent efforts and hard work stopped the fire from spreading to an extension within the cottage.

“The family were out of the cottage when crews arrived at the incident and were cared for by the neighbours and the Red Cross. The family have been made homeless following the fire.”

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Earlier, a spokesman for the fire brigade said: “The cause of the fire is unknown and ECFRS and the police will carry out an investigation.”

The fire brigade spokesman said firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used hose reel jets to tackle the blaze in the thatched roof. He said they used cromes to remove sections of the thatched roof to create a firebreak.

Crews also protected the fire from spreading to a neighbouring cottage by cooling the cottage with water jets to stop any stray embers landing on their thatched roof.

The Red Cross emergency support vehicle was called to the scene to provide assistance to the residents of the property, the fire brigade spokesman added.

Crews from Colchester, Manningtree, Wivenhoe, Halstead, Hadleigh, Nayland, West Mersea, Coggeshall, Basildon, Weeley and Brightlingsea attended the incident.

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