Student salvages revision notes in fire

SEARCHING through the debris for revision notes is not how one Suffolk university student expected to spent today before setting off for one of his exams.

SEARCHING through the debris for revision notes is not how one Suffolk university student expected to spent today before setting off for one of his exams.

Flames ripped through the roof of the 20-year-old's family home, in Rectory Road, Bacton, for almost five hours yesterday.

The fire broke out in the 16th century cottage's thatched roof shortly after 7pm and 90 firefighters fought to put it out shortly before midnight.

The Thompson family was left salvaging what they could today from the two-storey cottage that was damaged by water.

Father Dr Gordon Thompson, said: "We are just relieved that we were all unharmed.

"We are thoroughly impressed with the speed and service the fire brigade worked with and are now just studying the mess."

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The family - Dr Thompson, his wife Dr Helen Thompson, Adam, and 17-year-old Jennifer - were all alerted to the fire by passer-by Paul Wigglesworth who was driving by the house with his two children, Jessica and Liam, in the car.

The children saw the fire and they stopped to alert the family.

Mr Thompson said: "That gave us vital minutes and could have saved our lives because we managed to get out before the fire spread.

"For that we are eternally grateful and thank them very much."

A spokesman for Suffolk Fire Service said: "It appears the alarm was raised by two children who were the passengers in a car which was passing by the property.

"They saw the roof was on fire and persuaded their parents to stop the car, turn around and go back to raise the alarm with the occupants of the house.

"The occupants were apparently sitting down to dinner, completely unaware the roof above them had caught fire.

"There's no doubt their quick thinking actions could have saved considerable extra damage to the home because it enabled the occupants to begin to fight the fire themselves, before the crews arrived.

"The fire service would like to get in touch with the family to thank them for what they did."

Although a lot of the families possessions will dry out, it will be the personal belongings that will be lost forever.

Son Adam was left rummaging through the damage for revision notes or past exam papers before going to sit his final exams at Anglia Polytechnic University for his Music and Audio Music Technology degree.

The family spent the night at a friend's house in the village.

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