Neighbours rally to help blaze family

NEIGHBOURS today told how they rallied round to help a family whose farm house went up in flames.Around ten neighbours in Valley Lane, Buxhall, rushed to the scene of the detached house which was engulfed by a massive blaze yesterday afternoon.

NEIGHBOURS today told how they rallied round to help a family whose farm house went up in flames.

Around ten neighbours in Valley Lane, Buxhall, rushed to the scene of the detached house which was engulfed by a massive blaze yesterday afternoon.

More than 70 firefighters spent around three hours battling the blaze which began in an upstairs room and quickly spread to the thatched roof.

Today the scene is one of devastation with only the skeleton of the roof of the 19th century cottage left and piles of thatch on the ground.

As the fire took hold at around 3.30pm yesterday firefighters quickly removed as much furniture as they could salvage from the downstairs and neighbours, including Valerie Nash, transported it to a tent which had been put up in the garden.

The 57-year-old said: “I came back from shopping and saw the fire engines had just arrived.

Most Read

“Our road was blocked with all the fire engines. We went down to help and helped to move all the furniture.

“I don't know where the owners are now. They must be staying with friends. We've never had so many walkers come along as today, everyone wants to come and have a look at it.”

She said the home owner alerted the fire service to the inferno and remained at the scene to witness the devastation while his wife and three children left.

Mrs Nash added: “He was watching it but it was as though he wasn't really there.”

Fire crews from Stowmarket, Elmswell, Needham Market, Hadleigh, Ixworth, three from Bury St Edmunds, two from Sudbury and two from Ipswich were called.

They initially tackled the blaze through the loft hatch.

At the scene, assistant chief fire officer Gary Phillips said: “The family are very upset - they were confronted with a ball of flames on a property they adore. It was a punishing time for the firefighters.”

Paul Collins, fire service divisional officer, added: “It was very dangerous and intense. It was very physical work for the firefighters.

“They did an excellent job in quite uncomfortable conditions.”

The blaze was put out by 6.16pm and more crews arrived to replace those who had spent much of the afternoon at the scene. The Salvation Army also attended to provide refreshment to the firefighters.

n. Do you own the house? Contact The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or email starnews@eveningstar.co.uk