Clear up after triple fire drama

THREE families were starting to clear up today after an extraordinary series of house fires across the county.Bill and Ruth Herbert today spoke of their devastation after ripped through an annexe at Rustic Cottage in Half Moon Lane, Grundisburgh, destroying heirlooms and photographs the upper floor of the building.

THREE families were starting to clear up today after an extraordinary series of house fires across the county.

Bill and Ruth Herbert today spoke of their devastation after ripped through an annexe at Rustic Cottage in Half Moon Lane, Grundisburgh, destroying heirlooms and photographs the upper floor of the building.

Mr and Mrs Herbert and their 17-year-old son Henry were in the house next door when the fire broke out at about 7.40pm yesterday.

Mr Herbert, 53, said: “We had all of this stuff stored in the attic, family bits and pieces.

“I think my wife is upset because the baby cots have gone and some family heirlooms and photos and games and toys.”

The fire is believed to have been caused by a light at the back of the house which had come off the brickwork and overheated.

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A neighbour alerted the fire service to the blaze but when they arrived the fire had already spread considerably.

More than 25 firefighters from Ipswich and Woodbridge fought the blaze in the 19th century building.

Fire consumed the top half of the part brick, part wood building.

Sub Officer Adrian Mason, of Suffolk fire service, said: “Our main priority on arrival was to stop the fire spreading.”

Mr Herbert thanked the fire service for their work and said they had done “a fantastic job” working through the night to damp down the fire.

n In a separate incident a man and woman had a lucky escape when their Suffolk bungalow exploded and the roof blew off.

That incident happened at about 7.10pm in Hall Road Blundeston as the couple were preparing to eat their dinner.

Richard Chandler, assistant divisional officer (ADO) for the fire service, said: “The man was extraordinarily lucky. He was sitting in the lounge area, watching TV or maybe having a snooze, when his wife called him to dinner.

“Moments after he walked through it went bang. It was powerful enough to actually blow the roof off the building. Had he been in there I think he would have been in a very poorly way.”

The couple suffered from smoke inhalation from the subsequent fire and were said to be in shock.

They did not suffer any injuries as a result of the explosion.

ADO Chandler said officers were returning to the scene this morning to ascertain the course of the explosion.

Firefighters also dealt with a thatched cottage fire in Lidgate yesterday

The fire broke out in The Street at about 2pm when the occupiers Doctor Anthony Gunstone and his wife Yasmin were at home with their two young children.

More than 50 firefighters battled to extinguish the flames and no one was injured in the blaze.

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