Blaze wrecks Suffolk rectory

FIREFIGHTERS were today investigating at the scene of an inferno, which wrecked part of an old Suffolk rectory.More than 40 fire fighters tackled the blaze at the early Victorian-built former rectory in the village of Erwarton, near Shotley.

By Amanda Cresswell

FIREFIGHTERS were today investigating at the scene of an inferno, which wrecked part of an old Suffolk rectory.

More than 40 fire fighters tackled the blaze at the early Victorian-built former rectory in the village of Erwarton, near Shotley.

Neighbours raised the alarm after spotting smoke billowing from the detached house at 3.45 pm yesterday.


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While crews doused the flames, neighbours rallied round to help fire fighters salvage furniture and property belonging to owner Christopher Cole, which was stored in nearby homes.

One firefighter was treated by paramedics at the scene after he received a burn to his forearm arm in the blaze, which severely damaged one wing of property.

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No one was thought to have been in the rectory at the time although a man in the adjoining flat, who raised the alarm, escaped unhurt. He was thought to have spent last night in a hotel.

The rectory was still uninhabited today.

Divisional Officer Ian Taylor, from Suffolk Fire Service, said: "When the first crews got here they found a quite well developed fire which was spreading into the roof.

"They requested additional four pump appliances and support units. The first crews took aggressive fire fighting action and stopped the fire spreading into the adjacent wing of the property.

"About 40 percent of the property was damaged by fire and a further 20 percent by smoke and steam.

"One fire fighter was slightly injured during the fire fighting operations and was attended to by paramedics but remained on the scene in a non-fire fighting capacity.

He confirmed fire fighters would be launching an investigation today.

Six engines, a control vehicle and operational support unit attended the blaze and a Salvation Army rallied round to provide refreshments for the fire fighters.

Police blocked the road leading up to the remote property while Suffolk fire crews attended the blaze.

Mary Butler, 51, said: "I came home from work at 5 pm and saw a police car and was told there had been a fire at the Old Rectory.

"The first serious fire since I have been living in the village which is 36 years. I am just glad no one was hurt."

Edward Bennett, who lives nearby, said he was shocked to hear of the blaze: "Nothing ever happens in Erwarton. This is the most that has happened in ten years. I am pleased no one was hurt."

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