Crews save thatched pub roof

A RELIEVED landlady paid tribute to the swift actions of firefighters for saving her 17th Century pub which was “10 minutes away” from being engulfed by flames.

A RELIEVED landlady paid tribute to the swift actions of firefighters for saving her 17th Century pub which was “10 minutes away” from being engulfed by flames.

Determined crew managed to thwart the blaze at the renowned Red Lion pub in Icklingham, near Mildenhall, which threatened to rip through the building's thatched roof as staff were preparing for more than 60 people for Easter Sunday lunch, as reported first on The Evening Star website.

As the clean-up operation began, landlady Elizabeth Mason praised the work of 40 firefighters from across west Suffolk after they saved more than half of the roof.

She said: “I have nothing but praise for the firefighters, especially how quickly they got here. I firmly believe if it had been just 10 minutes longer, the whole roof would have gone.

“It is still really upsetting but I do feel relieved that the damage wasn't far worse. We had to cancel all the lunch-time meals but we are hoping to have the pub re-opened very quickly.”

Fire chiefs last night launched an investigation into the blaze, which was believed to have begun in the chimney at about 11.15am.

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Ms Mason added: “We just lit the fire as usual when we heard a fan making a whirring noise. We switched the fan off and the next thing we knew there was smoke pouring from the chimney - it was quite frightening.”

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