Retained firefighters fight barn blaze

A MOTHER-of-three today praised of the retained fire fighters who battled to save her blazing barn.Angela Haward was devastated when her 200-year old barn and stables caught fire at her home in Barking destroying riding equipment and several of the family's belongings.

By Amanda Cresswell

A MOTHER-of-three today praised of the retained fire fighters who battled to save her blazing barn.

Angela Haward was devastated when her 200-year old barn and stables caught fire at her home in Barking destroying riding equipment and several of the family's belongings.

The blaze was thought to have been sparked by a faulty washing machine and rapidly took hold, gutting the two buildings and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

Mrs Haward applauded the non-striking part-time crews from Needham Market, Debenham, Stowmarket and Woodbridge who fought to bring the flames under control.

The 46-year-old, whose husband, Ian, is a retained fire fighter, said: "We were very lucky. The fire station is only next door. I am pleased the crews were still working. All credit to them.

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"I don't really know what would have happened if we had to wait for a Green Goddess to come here, although it wouldn't have been a life risk whoever came.

"I am sure the Green Goddess would have done a good job too but they would have taken so much longer to get here.

"If a Green Goddess came the damage would have been a lot worse, because the fire would have spread."

The blaze started shortly after Mrs Haward put some washing in the machine which was in the out building.

"Then I heard the dogs barking and looked out and saw flames," she said. "I called the fire service and there was nothing I could do but watch. It went up so quickly."

Fortunately her daughter Holly's three show ponies, Max, Teddy and Monty escaped the flames as they were taken out to graze earlier that morning.

"It was lucky because I put some washing on the previous night when the ponies were in the stables," said Mrs Haward, surveying the charred remains. "I dread to think what would have happened if the fire happened then."

The flames tore through the stables and barn just before 11am yesterday at The Lodge, Needham Road wrecking the buildings which contained materials for the Haward's new extension, tack, bicycles and workshop tools and several other items.

The ponies have been found temporary homes in the meantime.

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