Village praised after cottage inferno

A SMALL village community has been praised for rallying behind a couple whose thatched cottage was left in ruins by a fire.More than 60 firefighters battled the blaze at Red Roofs cottage in Old Norwich Road, Yaxley, near Eye, shortly after 8pm on Tuesday.

A SMALL village community has been praised for rallying behind a couple whose thatched cottage was left in ruins by a fire.

More than 60 firefighters battled the blaze at Red Roofs cottage in Old Norwich Road, Yaxley, near Eye, shortly after 8pm on Tuesday.

The couple who own the cottage were inside at the time and were notified by a passer-by who saw smoke.

They spent the night at the village's Cherry Tree pub and landlord Andy Watts, speaking yesterdaymorning, said they were coping well.

“Obviously it is a devastating thing that has happened as they have lost their home but all things considered they are bearing up.

“They were absolutely distraught at first but now they have more of a practical view of things. They have been and looked at the possessions that have been saved from the building and sorted out insurance.”

Most Read

Mr Watts said everybody in the village helped the couple as the fire took hold of the cottage.

“The community spirit was absolutely fantastic and people were coming out and offering help and the couple have had offers of clothing and accommodation. It was nice to see such community spirit in such adversity.

“The firemen did a fantastic job and rescued all the possessions once they discovered that everyone was out. I was very impressed with how well organised and how calm it was handled from a fire brigade point of view.”

Phil Smith, 52, lives next door to the couple and said it was a sad day. “If it happens any time it is sad but with Christmas as well it knocks you for six. Everybody from the neighbourhood came out. It was lovely, especially people from the pub who were brilliant. Everyone just clubbed together.”

Fire crews from Eye, Stradbroke, Diss, Harleston, Bury St Edmunds and Debenham were called to the incident along with a turntable ladder from Ipswich.

Pat Dacey, Assistant Divisional Officer for Suffolk Fire Service, said the blaze was probably caused by a faulty brick chimney flue.

He said: “It has been a severe fire because it has involved the entire house. It was very unfortunate for the owners this time of year and our sympathies are extended to them. The community spirit here has been superb and a pleasure to see.”