Thatched roof blaze destroys family home
FRIENDS and neighbours have stepped in to look after a devastated family whose home was ravished by fire on Thursday night (March 4). Villagers in Wethersfield were left in shock after a blaze broke out at a thatched cottage in Gosfield Road, Blackmore
FRIENDS and neighbours have stepped in to look after a "devastated" family whose home was ravished by fire on Thursday night (March 4).
Villagers in Wethersfield were left in shock after a blaze broke out at a thatched cottage in Gosfield Road, Blackmore End, and watched in horror as firefighters tackled the fierce inferno for over five hours.
Crews from Wethersfield, Sible Hedingham, Braintree and Halstead were called in to fight the blaze at around 8pm.
Two and a half hours later they reported that the entire roof was alight along with 50 per cent of the detached cottages' floor.
Essex fire and rescue service senior divisional officer Paul Bowers said: "The fire was well developed in the roof and the first floor of the property when crews first arrived.
"It has caused a great deal of destruction - the roof itself is completely destroyed. It has been devastating for the family who live here but their friends and neighbours are looking after them.
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"Crews did an excellent job when they first got here, they were able to get into the loft to try and attack the fire from there until the ferocity of the fire in the roof drove them back.
"They also were able to salvage many of the family's possessions from the ground floor.
"Because of the fairly remote location we had some trouble with water supplies but we were able to use the water from a pond in the cottages garden.
"When fire gets into a thatched roof like this our only option is to remove the roof and that is just what we did, but the fire caused a great deal of damage to the cottage.
"We are confident that the fire is entirely accidental, but not entirely sure of the cause at this stage."
As well as tackling the fire head-on crews had time to carry out a salvage operation to remove items from the first floor of the house before they could be damaged.
The blaze was reported to be completely out at 1am, no one is thought to have been seriously hurt.
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