Firefighters save historic cottage

FIREFIGHTERS have saved an iconic Suffolk cottage which was once the home of a victim of a notorious murder.Disaster was averted after a chimney fire threatened to tear through the thatched roof of the historic property at the heart of one of the 19th century's most infamous murders.

FIREFIGHTERS have saved an iconic Suffolk cottage which was once the home of a victim of a notorious murder.

Disaster was averted after a chimney fire threatened to tear through the thatched roof of the historic property at the heart of one of the 19th century's most infamous murders.

Made famous by the Red Barn Murder in Polstead, near Sudbury, firefighters were able to save 80 per cent of the thatched roof in the cottage.

Martins Cottage , in Martens Lane, was the former home of murdered Maria Marten and has become a visitor attraction for the small community of Polstead ever since.


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But a fire from a yesterday threatened to wipe out the remains of the famous cottage, where a couple in their seventies now run an environmentally-friendly bed and breakfast.

Denis and Paule Pym both in their seventies praised the work of the fire service but will now have to delay plans to continue renovating their famous cottage.

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The fire broke out at just before 7.30am in the clay chimney lining, with fire engines from Nayland and Hadleigh calling for backup to deal with the blaze.

With seven appliances helping to deal with the fire, officers at the scene said admitted it could have been a lot worse.

Firefighter Matt Barber, sub officer in charge of Hadleigh, said after they arrived they began stripping back the thatch to make a fire break.

The Pyms, who have worked the small holding, set in 18acres of grounds, for the past 36 years, said they were thankful the fire service had got their so quickly.

Mr Pym, who along with his wife lives totally organically, keeping sheep, geese and chickens, said: “We got up early this morning to light our fire at about 6am and later noticed smoke coming out of it. The fire service were excellent and here in minutes.

“The flu-line must have burnt out. The damage is an enormous inconvenience but that's life.”

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