‘It was really scary’ - neighbours on huge fire which nearly spread to homes

The fire in Talbot Road, Sudbury. Picture: COURTESY OF CLIVE SKINNER

The fire in Talbot Road, Sudbury. Picture: COURTESY OF CLIVE SKINNER - Credit: Archant

Neighbours have revealed how they bravely battled a rapidly growing outdoor fire armed with garden hoses in a bid to save a house from going up in flames.

Lloyd Pooley, who fought the fire in Talbot Road, Sudbury. Picture: COURTESY OF VIKI POOLEY

Lloyd Pooley, who fought the fire in Talbot Road, Sudbury. Picture: COURTESY OF VIKI POOLEY - Credit: Archant

Viki and Lloyd Pooley saw "big, dark, black clouds of smoke" from conifer trees which were alight perilously close to their neighbours' homes in Talbot Road, Sudbury on the hottest day of the year.

Shocked, the pair knocked on neighbours' doors to warn them of the danger before Mr Pooley acted instinctively and rushed to the scene of the fire.

Joined by two neighbours - one stood on the top of a garden shed - the trio bravely beat back the blaze with fire extinguishers and garden hoses until firefighters arrived at about 4.15pm on Thursday.

As a crew from Long Melford spent an hour using two hose reel jets, one thermal image camera and a triple extension ladder to fight the blaze, Mr Pooley was taken to West Suffolk Hospital amid fears of smoke inhalation.


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He was later given the all clear - and it is thought his actions might have been crucial in stopping the flames from spreading before firefighters arrived.

Mr Pooley said: "I thought that if I didn't sort it out, it was going to spread. I thought: 'That's someone's house.'

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"We tried to put out the flames. I would say my adrenalin was definitely pumping quite a bit. I didn't really think, I just went and did it."

Asked about her reaction when she first saw the fire, Mrs Pooley said: "It was just shock.

"We phoned the fire brigade and went and knocked on doors and made people aware of what was going on. People hadn't realised - they were inside with their fans on in the heat.

"It was billowing smoke - big, dark, black clouds of smoke. It was really scary."

A Suffolk Fire and Rescue spokesman said: "A crew from Long Melford attended an incident involving approximately 30metres of conifer trees and an outhouse at a property on Talbot Road in Sudbury.

"Due to a large volume of smoke from the burning trees, the property had to be ventilated once the fire had been extinguished."

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