Farmhouse in ruins after huge blaze

MORE than 50 firefighters tackled a major farmhouse blaze in Suffolk this afternoon.

Brad Jones

A FAMILY was left devastated as their home was gutted by a severe fire.

Smoke plumed from Abbey Farm, off Abbey Road outside Leiston, as the blaze ripped through the farmhouse at around 1pm this afternoon.

The family, who were not home at the time of the fire, returned home to find their belongings destroyed by the flames, which severely damaged the entire building.

Area manager Kevin Burton, of Suffolk Fire Service, said: “This was a severe blaze. The house is totally gutted. The family are devastated by this.”

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

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A water bowser and further engines from Ipswich, Saxmundham, Woodbridge, Framlingham, Halesworth and Southwold helped supply water to douse the flames, which tore through the farmhouse's roof.

It is believed the family had rented the property since 1997.

ADO Burton said: “The family are safe but they have lost all the family heirlooms.

“Anything with emotional value has gone. As you can expect, they are overwhelmed by this.”

The fire did not spread to an adjoining home, which suffered smoke damage from the blaze.

A sofa and personal belongings from the second home were piled in the building's garden to salvage them from possible fire.

Firefighters initially held the flames at bay with water jets before extra water pumps arrived to bring them under control.

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