Cottage fire could cost £400,000

AN IDYLLIC Woolpit cottage destroyed by fire could cost £400,000 to rebuild its owners said today.But John and Susan Bolden were totally unaware flames had engulfed their entire roof until a neighbouring farmer rang their door bell at 4.

AN IDYLLIC Woolpit cottage destroyed by fire could cost £400,000 to rebuild its owners said today.

But John and Susan Bolden were totally unaware flames had engulfed their entire roof until a neighbouring farmer rang their door bell at 4.50pm on Saturday.

At the height the blaze more than 60 firefighters from across Suffolk were involved in the massive operation to quell the flames and salvage treasured possessions from the four-bedroom cottage II listed Wheeley Hall Cottage in Broom Hill Lane.

Officers in charge of the incident were unable to say for sure how the blaze started.


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Mr Bolden, 61, said he and his wife, 59, were just settling down to watch the Scotland v England rugby international when the farmer saw what was happening: “The whole roof was on fire and he saw the flames from his field. It was just by chance the farmer was there - we hadn't heard a thing. I knew that as we could see flames coming out of the roof it had well and truly taken hold so we just got out and got our dogs out.

“The first crew, from Elmswell, was here within five minutes and as well as fighting the fire they got most of our contents out the only things we lost were soft furnishings.

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“We got out, the dogs got out and what's gone is only bricks and mortar - it can be replaced and we can't be sentimental about it. The books and things we've had all our married life can't be replaced but we've still got those thanks to the fire crews.”

Assistant Divisional Officer Jon Illingworth, who was leading the crews still at the scene yesterday morning, said the roof and the first floor of the cottage were wrecked.

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