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Salvage operation begins as fire breaks out at Victorian hall

PUBLISHED: 08:40 09 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:50 09 April 2020

Firefighters have been tackling a blaze that started in the roof of Hawstead Hall in west Suffolk  Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

Firefighters have been tackling a blaze that started in the roof of Hawstead Hall in west Suffolk Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

A couple woke to find the roof of their Victorian home on fire this morning, and crews have spent much of the day at the hall near Bury St Edmunds removing the roof and checking for hot spots.

Firefighters had made good progress on battling the flames within an hour of arrival  Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICEFirefighters had made good progress on battling the flames within an hour of arrival Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

The couple, who live at Hawstead Hall, felt a change in their room’s temperature before noticing blistering on the ceiling – and immediately called the fire service.

A total of 12 fire engines from across west Suffolk were called to the scene at 6.40am, as the fire began to spread from its roof and across two floors.

A salvage operation was launched as crews battled the blaze, saving as many of the couple’s possessions as possible.

The fire was extinguished at 8.48am but crews remain on scene removing roof tiles and ensuring the scene is safe before an investigation into the cause of the fire can begin.

The fire started in the roof of the Victorian hall and spread across two floors  Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICEThe fire started in the roof of the Victorian hall and spread across two floors Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE

Group commander Will Tel from the fire service said: “The fire started in the roof space and based on us dealing with the incident, we believe 10% of the roof to be damaged.

“The owners, first thing in the morning, felt there was a change in temperature in the room and saw some blistering on the ceiling and called the fire service.

“Today we’ve had up to 12 fire engines here all dealing with the response.

“The first crews worked really hard to get into the roof to stop the fire from spreading quickly. We worked closely with the owners so we could salvage and protect their belongings and will be working with our specialist fire investigator to identify the cause of the fire.”

Thankfully, no one was injured during the fire.

Two suites of the property are listed on AirBnB, where the owners hold a “super host” rating for their quality of service.

Commander Tel added: “In times like this it’s really important to remember key messages around safety – make sure you have a working smoke detector, make sure you have a working fire escape plan and make sure if you do use open fires, you have them serviced regularly.”

Mark Hardingham, chief fire officer for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Great work from Suffolk fire crews this morning saving Hawstead Hall, a beautiful building, from further fire damage.

11 pumps were called to a fire at Hawstead Hall  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN11 pumps were called to a fire at Hawstead Hall Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Well done to all those firefighters and officers who attended.”

Group Commander Wil Tel  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNGroup Commander Wil Tel Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

12 pumps were called to a fire at Hawstead Hall. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN12 pumps were called to a fire at Hawstead Hall. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN


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