Video & Gallery: Fire tears through thatched cottage

FLAMES tore through the roof of a thatched cottage in Hempstead on Saturday afternoon. Eight crews tackled the blaze which had taken hold at a two-story, L-shaped property on Anso Corner. Initially two fire crews were dispatched to the scene at 3.43pm, bu

FLAMES tore through the roof of a thatched cottage in Hempstead on Saturday afternoon.

Eight crews tackled the blaze which had taken hold at a two-story, L-shaped property on Anso Corner.

Initially two fire crews were dispatched to the scene at 3.43pm, but it soon became apparent that back up was required.

At 4.26pm it was reported that 50 per cent of the thatch was well alight and that efforts were being made to control the blaze and carry out a salvage operation.


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By 5pm a further two crews had been requested, more than 40 firefighters were at the scene and five hose reels were in use. Assistant divisional officer (ADO) Bill McKenzie, who had taken over as incident commander, reported that the whole of the roof was well alight.

Shortly after 5pm crews requested the attendance of EDS Energy to isolate the overhead power supply to the property. An Essex County Fire and Rescue Service water officer was also called to the incident to assist in maintaining water supplies.

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ADO McKenzie called in Suffolk's water bowser to bring bulk supplies to the scene, and a salvage support vehicle from Haverhill.

The incident was dealt with by 9.30pm. A joint police and fire service investigation will be carried out to establish the cause.

For advice about keeping thatched properties safe visit www.essex-fire.gov.uk/pages/index.asp?area=20&id=255.

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