Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Video: Elderly couple and another man forced to flee homes as thatch fire engulfs properties in Norwich Road, Barham

18:42 14 April 2014

The blaze that engulfed thatched cottages in Barham, which has led to the nearby Norwich Road being closed for several days.

The blaze that engulfed thatched cottages in Barham, which has led to the nearby Norwich Road being closed for several days.

An elderly couple and one other man were forced to flee their homes yesterday afternoon after what began as a thatch fire engulfed two properties.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue were called to the scene of a pair of semi-detached houses on the Norwich Road in Barham yesterday after reports of a thatch fire.

Smoke from the fire was visible to motorists travelling on the A14.

Group Commander Dave Pedersen said that upon arrival the crews immediately realised it was an “intense fire” and called for back-up; a total of eight fire engines and an aerial ladder platform were involved in quelling the flames.

The damage caused by the blaze is “very extensive”, said Mr Pedersen, and involved the roof and both floors of both properties, resulting in two dormer windows collapsing in to the first floor. The thatched roof is being stripped away.

Last night a neighbour of the property owners said they were “devastated” by what had happened and the Salvation Army have attended the scene to help.

Fire crews have tried to salvage as much of the properties and the owners’ possessions as possible.

Mr Pedersen said: “It’s a pair of semis and the fire spread from the roof, which is a combined roof, down on to the first floor of both properties.

“We will undertake a full investigation when we’re able to. We’ll be interviewing the occupiers and we’ll also be looking to carry out our own investigation into what the cause was.”

Although there were no injuries, an ambulance was called as a precaution to administer a health check on the elderly couple due to the level of smoke.

The properties sit in an idyllic country setting and neighbours in the village of Barham who were out walking their dogs said they had only realised what happened when a police officer stopped them due to the road closure.

One neighbour who lives directly adjacent to the properties said workers at a nearby sawmill had spotted the flames on the thatch roof.

David Westgate said the elderly couple who had lived in one of the properties for roughly 15 years were “devastated”.

“I was indoors and I thought I could smell smoke and the fire crews weren’t here then,” he said.

“They’re lovely people, all of them. I think the husband is about 81, and I think his wife is about 77, so you don’t need that at this time of life.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

A silhouette shot of 'Sarah', who has spoken about her experience with domestic abuse. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

A domestic violence survivor from Suffolk has told how family and friends intervened to help her flee a 13-year abusive relationship that left her “completely beaten”.

Crowds of commuters wait at Liverpool Street station

A points failure at London Liverpool Street is delaying rail passengers heading towards Ipswich by more than 30 minutes.

Buttermarket Ipswich.

Ipswich has been hailed as a great place to do business after the Buttermarket Centre was sold in a multi-million pound deal even before the final pieces are put into the redevelopment jigsaw.

Jeremy Head, who took his own life at mental health unit Wedgwood House, in Bury St Edmunds, in 2014. Picture: Ashtons Legal

The sister of a 49-year-old man who was found hanged at a mental health unit in Suffolk has said she begged for help in the weeks leading up to his death.

Broke Hall Community Primary School, Ipswich, had a Tractors in School visit - farmer John Taylor with Kara Bassil. Picture: NIGEL BROWN

Hundreds of youngsters will get close-up to one of the most impressive and hi-tech working vehicles this week – as they take part in a growing education programme.

Lauren Sherwood and Jaimin Patel (centre, arms linked) at Glemhall Hall where they met with suppliers of the St Elizabeth Hospice win a wedding competition. Picture: Echo Alfa

A Colchester couple who won St Elizabeth Hospice’s wedding giveaway last year have pledged their commitment to raising thousands of pounds for the cause in return for their special day at Glemham Hall.

President Vladimir Putin Dmitry Astakhov/ Sputnik, Government Press Service Pool photo via AP

Russian president Vladamir Putin should be offered a state visit, a Suffolk MP has said.

Suffolk Constabulary's headquarters in Martlesham Heath, where the 999 control room is based.   Picture: SU ANDERSON

Police in Suffolk have vowed to investigate why the force has the worst rate of abandoned 999 calls in the country.

Ipswich Town's Daryl Murphy challenges for the ball in last summer's match against Norwich City.  Picture: Steve Waller

It is one of the most hotly anticipated games of the season for football fans in Suffolk and Norfolk.

Man denies fraud in alleged romance scams. Picture: Muenz

A man conned five women out of money after meeting them through dating websites and telling them he was a former RAF pilot and businessman, a court heard.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24