Video/Gallery: Couple taken to hospital as fire ravages their thatched cottage in Rattlesden

Emergency services at the scene of a thatched cottage fire at a house in Poy Street Green, Rattlesde

Emergency services at the scene of a thatched cottage fire at a house in Poy Street Green, Rattlesden. - Credit: Archant

FIREFIGHTERS battled last night to try to save a thatched cottage from complete destruction.

Eight fire engines, an aerial appliance and a control unit raced to the two-storey timber-framed detached home in Poy Street Green, near Rattlesden, after a 999 call at about 5.15pm.

A man and a woman, believed to be living in the house, were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation but neighbours at the scene said the couple were fine.

Both the roof and the first floor were “completely involved” in fire, with a partial collapse of the roof at about 6pm and the gable end collapsed at 8pm.

By 8.50pm the incident was under control and turning over and damping down was in progress. The salvage operation and checking for hotspots was due to continue for a considerable time.

Speaking while crews were still fighting the flames, incident commander Karl Rolfe said: “Our first actions were an initial firefighting attack attempt. We stop the fire or attempt to stop the fire spreading while we recover all the household possessions and furniture.

“We accept we have lost the roof, but the timber frame of these houses is saveable and that’s what we will now attempt.

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“The crews have done well,” he said. “They are mostly our on-call fire crews who work part-time in their local communities and of course they have dropped everything and have come out here and done a fantastic job as well.” Mr Rolfe said everyone was accounted for.

The fire is not believed to be suspicious but a full fire investigation will take place. A woodburning stove was in use at the time, Mr Rolfe added.

Police carried out traffic management and UK Power Networks was requested to isolate the power supply. The Salvation Army was also on its way.

Neighbours also pulled together to help move and store the occupiers’ possessions. One, who did not wish to be named, described the crews’ efforts as “fantastic”.

Mr Rolfe said: “Anyone living in a thatched property who has some concerns should contact Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service on 01473 260588.”

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