Rain

Rain

max temp: 18°C

min temp: 15°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Video: Owners speak after their ‘dream cottage’ in Battisford is destroyed in thatch fire

13:48 21 March 2014

Aftermath of the house fire in the village of Battisford.

Aftermath of the house fire in the village of Battisford.

The owners of a home gutted in a devastating thatch fire are today trying to rebuild their lives.

The cottage in Mill Road, Battisford, devastated in the fireThe cottage in Mill Road, Battisford, devastated in the fire

Annie Hand was alone in her “dream cottage” in Battisford, near Stowmarket, yesterday evening, oblivious to the fire that had started above her at about 4.50pm.
It was only when one of her neighbour’s friends banged on the door that she got out and realised the “nightmare” that was developing around her.

She said: “I was at home when it started, totally unaware that it was alight. The neighbour was banging on the door and said ‘your house is on fire!’”

“When I was outside I saw the thatch was alight below the chimney. I went round the back to get the dogs and it had already spread. It was clear it had been burning for a while.”

Ms Hand was at the home, in Mill Road, waiting for her partner Ian Bell, who works in Hertfordshire for a logistics and freight firm, to return.

Emergency services at the scene of a thatch fire in Battisford.Emergency services at the scene of a thatch fire in Battisford.

She said: “He was coming off the A14 when the fire trucks came past and the bowsers - but thought they could not be for us. He then followed them up the road home.”

“It’s the worst nightmare if you live in a thatch. You take the risk but you don’t think it’s going to happen.

“We’ve just finished the garden and it looked wonderful; now look at it. But I got out and we are alive and that’s the main thing.”

Around 50 firefighters battled to control the fire but by the time they arrived it had already taken hold of the 16th century property’s thatch.

The road was closed as the emergency operation continued into the night. Around dozen neighbours rallied to help the fire crews save countless items of personal property. Quick-thinking residents erected gazebos to protect the possessions from rain.

Ms Hand said: “The neighbours were just fantastic, they put gazebos up in the garden. The firefighters were just throwing out things out of the windows, trying to get as much out as possible.

“It’s an amazing community, it’s very supportive. The road was shut, it was all blocked - no-one could get up or down - we knew something monumental had happened.

“We’re now waiting for the insurers to come. We now need to find somewhere to live - this is not a short-term project - it will take six months to a year (to rebuild the cottage).”

The couple has lived in the Grade-II listed five-bedroom home for more than three years after moving from Berkshire. Two of the bedrooms are in an annex which has survived the fire.

Ms Hand, who formerly worked as a project manager, said the couple had always taken precautions with their home’s log burner.

0 comments

A man police would like to speak to following three alleged fraud incidents in Ipswich

Suffolk police officers have released an image of a man they would like to speak to following three incidents of alleged fraud in Ipswich.

Wherstead Road

Drivers experienced long delays in and out of Ipswich this evening while safety checks were made to the railway bridge in Wherstead Road.

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Passenger satisfaction levels in the region’s rail operator have dropped in key areas including value for money and punctuality, a new poll has revealed.

Mark Bee and George Nobbs at Beccles bridge in 2013 - both former leaders voted against the devolution deal.

Suffolk’s councils have done their bit on approving the government’s devolution proposals – but the decision on whether to proceed remains up in the air.

The St Elizabeth Hospice Bubble Rush.will take place on August 28 at Christchurch Park.

Today is the last chance to get early bird discount for Suffolk’s first ever Bubble Rush.

The Orwell Bridge

The Orwell Bridge was closed for a short time this morning because of a police incident.

Damage to Matthew Bonner's car

An Ipswich man whose car was broken into earlier this year has criticised police after officers closed an investigation into the crime.

Stock image

Police have identified the possible location of a rape in Hadleigh last week.

Boris Johnson speaks during a press conference at St Ermin's Hotel in London, where he formally announced that he will not enter the race to succeed David Cameron in Downing Street. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 30, 2016. See PA story POLITICS Conservatives Johnson. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

It was a day that started with promise for the former London mayor and Conservative leadership frontrunner.

Zoella is a firm favourite with teens.

You could be forgiven for thinking that PewDiePie, Zoella, CutiePieMarzia and ThatcherJoe are characters from a new Cbeebies programme, but they are not. These are the rock stars and movie heroes of the current teenage generation.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24