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Fire crews keep busy across the county

PUBLISHED: 11:25 29 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:48 03 March 2010

ARSONISTS have torched a 16th Century cottage destined to be a dream family home.

Father-of-two Colin Catton was devastated to find out on the radio today that the listed cottage he had brought at Haughley just one week ago had been gutted by fire.

ARSONISTS have torched a 16th Century cottage destined to be a dream family home.

Father-of-two Colin Catton was devastated to find out on the radio today that the listed cottage he had brought at Haughley just one week ago had been gutted by fire.

Green Farm Cottage, in Wetherden Road, had been derelict for 30 years but Mr Catton, a builder from Stowupland, was planning to renovate the cottage to live in. His own home is already on the market.

Suffolk Fire Service area commander John Hubble was carrying out investigations at the site today into what caused the fire.

He said: "It was well alight when we got here and flames could be seen for miles around."

Water from pumped from nearby ponds in the remote area to fight the fire which started at around 9.20pm last night.

Meanwhile, more than 20 firefighters today battled a fire in which 1000 tonnes of straw went up in flames.

The fire broke out in a large barn at Sluice Farm, Sandy Lane, Martlesham at just before 1am.

Firefighters from Ipswich and Woodbridge spent about two hours battling the serious blaze.

Water jets were used to cool down nearby piggeries in a bid to stop the fire spreading.

Police were called to close the lane leading to the farm until the fire was brought under control.

Sluice Farm, a diversified farm, has been a family-run business for more than 50 years.

Adrian Johnson, owner, said: "A family member spotted the fire. The barn is about 120 by 40ft it was half full of straw and half the barn has been destroyed in the blaze.

"It's a right mess and a matter of clearing up today. Fortunately the fire has not affected the business in any way and we have more straw in another building."

Sluice Farm houses several thousand pigs but none were injured in the blaze.

Mr Johnson said the farm was checked at about 10pm yesterday when the mill was turned on.

He said there was nothing electrical in the barn and raised the possibility the blaze could have been started deliberately.

Leading firefighter Simon Patterson, based at Colchester Road, Ipswich, said: "When the crews arrived part of the barn was well alight. The surrounding buildings were cooled in order to prevent the fire spreading."

Relief crews spent the morning continuing to cool the nearby buildings and were expected to remain at the farm until midday.

The fire service said they are not treating the fire as suspicious at this stage.

Also last night firefighters from Ipswich tackled a car fire behind Pickfords, in Bader Close, and another at the Recreation Ground in Hawke Road.

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