Fire ravages thatched cottage

PUBLISHED: 10:52 16 February 2009 | UPDATED: 21:41 31 May 2010

Newport cottage fire. Photo courtesy of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

Newport cottage fire. Photo courtesy of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

FIRE crews battled for nearly 24 hours after an inferno broke out in the roof of an ancient thatched cottage. No one was hurt but severe damage was caused as eleven crews dowsed down flames and cooled resulting hotspots in Langley Lower Green near Newport

FIRE crews battled for nearly 24 hours after an inferno broke out in the roof of an ancient thatched cottage.

No one was hurt but severe damage was caused as eleven crews dowsed down flames and cooled resulting hotspots in Langley Lower Green near Newport at around 9.30pm on Saturday.

Newport chief firefighter, Neil Byford, said: "Four appliances were mobilised straight away and when we arrived the owner was on the roof with a garden hose. He had managed to extinguish the flames on the outside so we sent two men into the building to check the roof space and they found a rapidly developing fire roaring through the ceilings.

"We tackled the fire as best as we could but, due to the tinder dry thatch inside, the fire had already spread through the whole roof space and had broken out on the roof again - it had also travelled down the chimney stack and broke out in the ceiling on the ground floor.

"Our priority was to slow down the fire as much as we could to enable us to salvage the belongings from the first floor and then the ground floor, at the same time crews were working on the roof to pull the thatch off to try and bring it to a halt."

Extra appliances were sent from, Stansted, Thaxted, Dunmow and Buntingford and as they battled through the night.

Ten firefighters remained until 7pm on Sunday night as hotspots threatened to reignite the blaze.

The cause of the fire is unknown and an investigation will be carried out by experts from Essex Fire and Rescue Service and the police.

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