Firefighters save home...and a dog

ON ANOTHER day, the Waghorns could have been mourning the family dog and their home.Today their 18th century cottage in rural Groton, near Hadleigh, is more than an hour from the nearest Green Goddess engine.

ON ANOTHER day, the Waghorns could have been mourning the family dog and their home.

Today their 18th century cottage in rural Groton, near Hadleigh, is more than an hour from the nearest Green Goddess engine.

Yesterday afternoon their lovely home and the beloved family pet were saved by the prompt action of firefighters and the keen ears of a passer-by.

Mari-Lou Waghorn said: "We were so lucky – thank God they weren't on strike.


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"When I spoke to the firefighters I told them it was a good job they weren't on strike and they said they would be tomorrow."

The charred remains of furniture in the cottage's front garden was a stark reminder of the risks posed by today's industrial action.

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Retained firefighters from Hadleigh and Nayland were quickly on the scene after a keen-eared horse rider heard smoke detectors and raised the alarm.

They were able to put out the flames and call a vet to examine 12-year-old golden retriever Diamond who had been snoozing upstairs when the blaze broke out.

Brian Waghorn said: "It would have been an absolute tragedy if Diamond had died, we've had her 10 years.

"Really we were incredibly lucky. There was no one in the house apart from the dog so it was just fortunate the rider heard the alarm.

"The vet had a look at Diamond and said she was ok, there was a bit of smoke inhalation, but nothing serious."

Mrs Waghorn made an appeal for the mystery horse rider to come forward so the grateful couple can pass on their thanks.

She said: "There was no one else to hear the alarm, but because of her the fire brigade were here within half an hour of the fire starting at the most.

"We'd love to pass on our thanks."

The fire brigade confirmed an emergency call had been made by a passer-by at about 3.20pm yesterday.

Firefighters found a small blaze well alight when they reached the cottage, but had put it out about an hour later.

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