Video/Gallery: Large part of roof of thatched house lost in blaze in Stonham Aspal

Emergency services at the scene of a fire in Stonham Aspal.

Emergency services at the scene of a fire in Stonham Aspal. - Credit: Archant

A huge blaze ripped through a large thatched property in the Suffolk countryside, destroying much of the roof and a large part of the first floor of the family home.

Around 65 firefighters tackled the blaze in Stowmarket Road, Stonham Aspal throughout Monday afternoon and evening.

Carl Francis, area commander of the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said a female resident at the two-storey property raised the alarm at around 1pm.

The blaze had been brought under control and the majority of the flames had been extinguished by around 3.30pm.

Crews remained on scene and the incident remains ongoing through the night, with eight fire engines in attendance.

Mr Francis said: “It was a large, quite substantial fire, which has affected a nice home. The fire started in the vicinity of a chimney at one end of the building and developed along the roof.

“We were able to save around 30% of the thatched roof (but) unfortunately the destruction of the thatched roof caused (the fire) to drop down into the first floor. A substantial proportion of the first floor has been directly affected.”

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Mr Francis paid tribute to the first firefighters on the scene, saying they were “gallant and hardworking as they worked to salvage as much of the property as possible”.

He said they helped family members save furniture and possessions, which were at risk of suffering damage.

He said: “Crews worked really hard in the early stages to establish a break in the thatch roof to stop the fire spreading far.

“We were presented with the challenges of a thatch roof. They always develop very quickly, burning inside and outside.”

He added that the family had left the building when crews arrived, saying they were never in danger.

At the height of the blaze, 10 fire engines were called to the scene, as well as an aerial appliance, a command support unit and a water carrier.

Police officers directed traffic in the afternoon and evening.

An investigation into what caused the fire remains ongoing. There are currently no suspicious circumstances.

The family has declined to comment.