Home devastated in fire drama

A HOMEOWNER has been left with the heartbreaking task of salvaging his family's belongings after fire tore through the property, destroying the roof and first floor.

By Danielle Nuttall

A HOMEOWNER has been left with the heartbreaking task of salvaging his family's belongings after fire tore through the property, destroying the roof and first floor.

More than 30 firefighters were called to the Former Rectory in Hasketon, near Woodbridge, in the early hours of yesterday morning after a blaze broke out in the roof of the two-story detached building.

The fire is thought to have originated from an extractor fan in an upstairs bathroom but it quickly engulfed the roof space and the bedroom ceilings.


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Fire officers from Bury St Edmunds, Ipswich, Felixstowe, Woodbridge and Framlingham fought for at least two hours to bring the flames under control and remained on site for the next eight hours.

The roof and part of the first floor of the building was totally destroyed and firefighters did everything possible to save the family's belongings, storing them on the ground floor of the building.

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Steve Dewberry, owner of the Blacksmith Road property, could not put into words the devastation the family was feeling as he collected his daughter's damaged sixth form study books from the house yesterday morning.

He said he realised something was wrong when he heard water running somewhere in the house. It was after coming outside he saw that the roof was on fire.

Martyn Thorpe, assistant divisional officer with Suffolk Fire Service, said firefighters were called after the owner was awoken at 1.30am by the smell of smoke and water dripping.

“He went into the bathroom and could smell smoke again and the tank had started to flow through the ceiling. He got his family together and they all left the premises,” he said.

Fire crews from Ipswich and Woodbridge originally attended the scene.

“They were confronted with a well-developed fire that had totally involved the roof space and was penetrating through the bedroom ceilings into the first floor,” said Mr Thorpe.

“They quickly asked for assistance and further appliances arrived. The crews concentrated on salvaging and rescuing valuables that were saveable from the ground floor. They remained on site this morning.

“The roof was totally guttered along with the first floor. Although the occupant picked up the smoke he had got smoke alarms and had he not awoken they would have picked it up and warned him.

“A fire investigation was conducted this morning and with witness statements at the time given by the occupant, and the area of damage, it's most likely the fire originated in an extractor fan area of the bathroom.”

Suffolk Fire Service offers free home safety fire safety checks and anyone concerned should contact the force control room on 01473 588888 for more information.

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