Warning after spate of chimney blazes

FIREFIGHTERS tackled a spate of chimney fires over the weekend as householders struggled to keep warm as temperatures plummetted across the region.

Homeowners were being urged to clean their chimneys before use after firefighters were called to negotiate treacherous roads to tackle a spate of chimney fires all over the county.

In total, firefighters were called to ten chimney blazes which took place in every corner of the county as the cold weather strengthened its grip on the region.

Gary Clark, group manager for the fire service, said that chimney fires were more common during the colder parts of the year.

“Chimney fires are always a lot more severe at this time of the year,” he said. “People tend to turn to solid fuel in the winter because they are so quick in heating houses, but chimneys must always be maintained.”

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The first blaze took place at Onehouse Lodge in Forest Road, Onehouse, shortly after 9.40am on Saturday.

On arriving at the scene, firefighters discovered a blaze in the large detached three-storey home. A spokesperson for the fire service said that the structural beam of the ground floor was involved in fire.

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Crews stripped away floor boards and cut away bricks before bringing the incident under control by 10.45am.

Meanwhile, two appliances were called to a home in Hadleigh Road, Elmsett, at 1.52pm on Saturday, where a woodburner was found alight. It was under control by 2.25pm.

A chimney at an address in Eye Road, Hoxne, was found to be well alight when firefighters arrived at the address shortly before 2.10pm on Saturday. The building was smoke logged and crews tackled the flames by 3pm.

A further blaze then broke out at a home in Redgrave, on the Suffolk-Norfolk border, with four pumps attending the scene in village’s Gallows Hill just after 3pm yesterday. The chimney was well alight and crews removed the tiles of the property to extinguish the flames by 4.10pm.

A crew from Stowmarket was called to another blaze in Broomspath Road, Stowupland, at 5.20pm – tackling the fire within 40 minutes.

Additional blazes took place in The Green inTuddenham, near Mildenhall, Thornbush Lane in Earl Stonham, Felsham Road in Cockfield and Halesworth Road, Walpole.

Mr Clark said that homeowners should ensure that all chimneys are kept clean to prevent blazes.

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