Fire crews extinguish thatched cottage blaze in Creeting St Mary

Firefighters attended the thatch fire in Creeting Saint Mary. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Firefighters attended the thatch fire in Creeting Saint Mary. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Swift action by firefighters saved a thatched cottage from burning to the ground after the roof caught fire in a Suffolk village yesterday.

Firefighters attended the thatch fire in Creeting Saint Mary. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Firefighters attended the thatch fire in Creeting Saint Mary. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fire crews were called to the property in All Saints Road, Creeting St Mary, at around 1.30pm and found the cottage “well alight” on arrival.

According to Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, the blaze began after an oil tank caught fire nearby, which then spread to the thatched cottage.

Firefighters attended the thatch fire in Creeting Saint Mary. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Firefighters attended the thatch fire in Creeting Saint Mary. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Crews from Suffolk and Norfolk tackled the blaze and a total of 11 fire appliances were sent to the property, which is situated on a quiet country lane.

Trevor Hill, station commander at Bury St Edmunds, said the home owners saw the fire and were able to call the fire service quickly.

Firefighters attended the thatch fire in Creeting Saint Mary. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Firefighters attended the thatch fire in Creeting Saint Mary. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

He said: “An oil tank nearby caught fire and embers from that then set the thatch alight.

“Crews worked extremely hard to control the fire within the first hour.

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“The owners saw the fire early and were able to make a quick call. An early call can make a huge difference.

“It is a warning, of course, that thatch fires can happen in the summer as well as the winter.”

Crews from Princes Street in Ipswich, Ipswich East, Stowmarket, Diss, two from Woodbridge, Leiston, Hadleigh, Bury St Edmunds, Elmswell, and Harleston attended the blaze.

The rapid response of the firefighters prevented the blaze taking hold of the property, according to Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service group commander Ian Mallet.

He said crews stripped back the thatch to fight the flames.

Speaking at the scene, Mr Mallet said: “The crews attended in a rapid response and were able to control the fire before it got too much of a grip on the thatched property.

“Working in conjunction with the owners, we have been able to strip away the thatch and extinguish the fire.”

Mr Mallet added that further stripping of the thatch took place to make sure that there was no heat transfer across the property.

The crews used two hose reel jets to extinguish the flames and by around 3.30pm had managed to fully control the incident.

One fire crew remained on the scene at the property until around 4.30pm to check for any hot-spots and to make sure the house and the surrounding area was safe.

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