Family's devastation at farmhouse fire

A DEVASTATED family last night thanked firefighters and neighbours for desperately trying to save their home after it went up in flames.

Craig Robinson

A DEVASTATED family last night thanked firefighters and neighbours for desperately trying to save their home after it went up in flames.

The Camerons watched in tears as a blaze ripped through Abbey Farm, off Abbey Road, just outside Leiston, around 1pm on Sunday.

The family were shopping in Ipswich at the time of the fire and were only alerted to the drama after a chance meeting with the landlord of the Eels Foot Inn, which is close to their six bedroom home.

They returned to the farmhouse, where they have lived for more than 12 years, to find 50 firefighters battling the blaze, which has left the property gutted.

Last night, daughter Kelsey Cameron, 24, spoke to the EADT on behalf of the whole family.

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She said they would like to extend their gratitude to the firefighters who bravely battled to save their home and to say a huge thank-you to the local community who have rallied round in their hour of need.

Miss Cameron, who now lives and works in London but was staying with her parents over the weekend, said: “We were out shopping in Ipswich and went to have some lunch at Pizza Express when the landlord from the Eels Foot Inn recognised me and said we needed to get home because our house was on fire - it was a complete coincidence he was there.

“By the time we got home there were firefighters everywhere and the house was ablaze. We just had to watch it burn - it was heartbreaking.

“The roof is completely and utterly gone along with the top floor. The bottom floor is still standing but there's a lot of water damage. We have lost pretty much everything of our family from the last 12 and a half years.”

Fire crews from Leiston and Aldeburgh were called to the scene after police officers spotted the smoke drifting across fields outside Leiston.

A water bowser and further engines from Ipswich, Saxmundham, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Halesworth and Southwold helped supply water to douse the flames.

“It's a godsend that no one was hurt,” Miss Cameron added. “The investigation is still ongoing. They think it started on the first floor but that's all we know at the moment.

“The firefighters have been amazing. They saved a couple of bits from the bottom floor which was a huge comfort to us.

“There has been an amazing effort from everyone around us. We stayed in the pub last night.

“We have had friends and family ringing up offering us places to stay at Christmas. We're not sure what we will do at the moment. We will just have to figure it out as we go along.”