Little left of farmhouse after blaze

AN HISTORIC Suffolk farmhouse was severely damaged by fire yesterday.There was little left of the large farmhouse at Moat Farm, Monewden Road, Otley, after a blaze had started some time on Thursday night.

By Richard Smith

AN HISTORIC Suffolk farmhouse was severely damaged by fire yesterday.

There was little left of the large farmhouse at Moat Farm, Monewden Road, Otley, after a blaze had started some time on Thursday night.

An investigation was launched by fire officers to try to determine how it had begun and crews spent several hours damping down to ensure that the charred remains did not reignite.


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Scaffolding had been erected before the fire as workmen began a restoration project on the farmhouse.

The scaffolding was mainly untouched by the fire but the house, measuring 10 metres by 25 metres, was completely ruined.

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It had been extended twice over the years and last year an application had been submitted to Suffolk Coastal District Council to carry out internal and external alterations.

This application was withdrawn in January and it is understood another application had received permission including Listed Building Consent. The owner, who lives in Otley, was said to be too devastated by the fire to make a comment.

The complete building, which is thought to date back to the 16th Century, had completely caved in after the blaze went unnoticed for hours.

Fire crews were called to the building at Moat Farm at 5.40am yesterday.

The scene was one of total devastation and firefighters from Framlingham, Debenham, Woodbridge and the headquarters in Ipswich tackled the blaze.

Staff from Suffolk Coastal District Council's building control department surveyed the site to assess how safe the remaining structure was.

Meanwhile, tiles fell from what remained of the roof, chimneys leaned over at dangerous angles and scaffolding attempted to keep the remains upright.

Geoff Pyke, Suffolk Fire Service assistant divisional officer, said: “It had been burning through the night but had gone unnoticed. The whole farm site is empty and work was about to begin to refurbish it.

“It has been an extremely severe fire and there is practically nothing left of the building which stood as a whole before the incident.''

Mr Pyke said it was difficult to know where to start the investigation as the building had been so severely damaged.

Firemen used water from ponds on the farm to help them tackle the fire.

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