VIDEO: Ten fire crews tackle thatched cottage blaze which destroys roof
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
More than 10 fire crews spent hours fighting a blaze which destroyed most of the thatched roof of a cottage near Manningtree.
Firefighters were called to a property in Wix Road, Bradfield, just before 8.15pm on Friday night.
On arrival, crews found about half of the cottage's five-by-10-metre roof alight.
The incident commander called for the support of an aerial ladder platform, from Colchester station, to allow firefighters to drench the flames from height.
A total of 11 fire appliances were called to the scene from Colchester, Dovercourt, Clacton, Weeley, Brightlingsea, Wivenhoe and Frinton.
Due to the remote location of the incident, a water bowser, which carries a large amount of water, was also called in from Halstead to help provide a consistent water supply.
The incident was divided into sectors to allow crews to surround the fire before working to remove parts of the thatched material to prevent the flames spreading further.
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By 11.30pm, incident commander Mark Earwicker said firefighters had worked incredibly hard to get the fire surrounded and under control, and that good progress was continuing to be made.
He added: "Crews are stripping the thatched material away from the roof to make the fire easier to extinguish.
"Around 60% of the roof has been removed so far, but the process does take some time. We expect firefighting to continue throughout tonight and into tomorrow morning.
"I'd like to thank the local community for their patience and support, as well as Essex Police for their assistance in making the area safe."
Four fire engines remained at the scene on Saturday morning.
The fire had been extinguished by 7.30am, with crews standing by to monitor the thatched material for remaining hotspots and make sure the area was completely safe.
A full fire investigation to understand the cause was due to be launched later in the day.