Tranquility contrasts with blaze tragedy

STEEL gates today barred the footpath leading to a Little Blakenham farmhouse, gutted by a blaze which took the life of an elderly man.Amid the silent aftermath of the devastating fire at Six Acre farm, chickens scratched around the yard and the nearby stream ran idly by – a picturesque backdrop to the horrors of the day before.

STEEL gates today barred the footpath leading to a Little Blakenham farmhouse, gutted by a blaze which took the life of an elderly man.

Amid the silent aftermath of the devastating fire at Six Acre farm, chickens scratched around the yard and the nearby stream ran idly by – a picturesque backdrop to the horrors of the day before.

Investigations are to be carried out after what is believed to be the body of pensioner Frank Dickman was found in the house following a fierce blaze early yesterday morning.

The blaze is not thought to be suspicious and neighbours told how they dashed to the scene after hearing loud explosions.

Trevor McDowell, of Little Box Meadow, Little Blakenham, and another resident of the village ran to in a frantic Mr Dickman.

Mr McDowell's wife Susan said: "We were asleep in our bedroom and heard a cracking noise. We looked out of the window and saw Frankie's house on fire.

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"My husband raced downstairs to phone the fire brigade and then came back to get dressed. Then he ran down to Frankie's.

"We could hear somebody already at the house shouting his name. By the time my husband got there he couldn't get anywhere near the property. It had gone up like a matchbox."

Although the pensioner had been known to sleep in his shed and other outbuildings, it is feared he was at home when the blaze broke out.

Police have confirmed they had found what was believed to be his body.

Fire crews from across Suffolk were called to Six Acre Farm, at a place known as Leather Bottle Hill, in Somersham Road, at about 1.20am.

Crews from Needham Market, Ipswich and Felixstowe were called to the cottage blaze.

It took firefighters just under three hours to bring the blaze under control but still some eight hours after the fire first broke out, smoke could still be seen coming from the property.

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