Massive blaze hits thatched home

A BEAUTIFUL thatched cottage is in ruins after a blaze ripped through the roof of the property.

A BEAUTIFUL thatched cottage is in ruins after a blaze ripped through the roof of the property.

Around 70 firefighters were called to Wicker Street Green, near Kersey, just before 6.30pm.

Neighbours rallied round and helped the owners of the cottage rescue their belongings from inside while crews from as far away as Bury St Edmunds fought the flames.

The entire thatched roof was destroyed by the blaze - which firefighters tackled using water from a pond at the back of the property.

Assistant chief fire officer Mark Sanderson last night praised the efforts of the crews that arrived first and prevented the flames from spreading further.

“They have worked very hard to extinguish the fire and the first crews to arrive did an excellent job restricting its spread,” he said. “The thatched roof is 100% destroyed and the crews are now removing the remnants of the thatch from the building.

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“We've been using the turntable ladder as an aerial platform to help fight the fire and strip the thatch and its going very well. Good progress is being made and it seems under control.”

Mr Sanderson said the crews also helped with salvage work to remove all the furniture from the property as quickly as possible.

“What we are doing now is trying to make sure that there is as little water damage as possible,” he said at the scene last night.

“There are a number of possible causes - an early possibility is that it was caused by heat from the chimney - but we will have to look at everything in more detail.

“We expect to be here for quite some time. I don't imagine we will leave the building unattended overnight - we have to be very careful.”

He said it was likely that two crews would be asked to keep an eye on the property and ensure the fire did not reignite.

A total of ten appliances were called to the blaze from Hadleigh, Nayland, Sudbury, Bury St Edmunds, Melford, Holbroook and Colchester Road and Princes Street in Ipswich.

The Salvation Army response unit also attended the incident to provide hot drinks for the firefighters.

Crews used eight breathing apparatus and five hose reel jets to tackle the flames.

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