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WATCH: More than 70 firefighters battling thatched cottage blaze

PUBLISHED: 07:50 25 June 2018 | UPDATED: 16:09 26 June 2018

A thatched cottage caught fire near Attleborough (Image: Christian Render)

A thatched cottage caught fire near Attleborough (Image: Christian Render)

Archant

A fire has partially destroyed one of the oldest thatched properties in Rockland All Saints, near Attleborough.

More than 70 firefighters spent several hours today tackling a blaze which engulfed the pink cottage on Low Lane.

The fire broke out at around 4.15pm, and destroyed the property’s garage and roof.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service group manager, Richard Smith, said 80 personnel were on scene at the height of blaze.

He said it would take around 12 hours to “damp down” the property.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service crews at the scene of a thatched building fire in Rockland All Saints. Picture: Luke Powell.Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service crews at the scene of a thatched building fire in Rockland All Saints. Picture: Luke Powell.

Adrian Eyres, who lives behind the cottage, said he was coming out of his drive with his wife when he saw a “roaring fire”.

The 50-year-old barber said: “I put a ladder up against the fence and tried to hose it down.

“Bit it was a no hope because I was the only one fighting it from behind.”

He said there were lots of “little bangs” coming from the property.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service crews at the scene of a thatched building fire in Rockland All Saints. Picture: Luke Powell.Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service crews at the scene of a thatched building fire in Rockland All Saints. Picture: Luke Powell.

His wife Joanne, 53, said: “It is heart breaking because it was a beautiful thatched cottage, which always stood very proud on that corner.

“The people who live there are lovely”.

The road leading to the property, past the White Hart pub, was filled with fire engines throughout the afternoon.

People living in the village could be seen handing out water and food to firefighters.

Fire crews at the scene of the thatched cottage fire in Rockland All Saints. Picture: Luke Powell.Fire crews at the scene of the thatched cottage fire in Rockland All Saints. Picture: Luke Powell.

Mr Smith, from the fire service, said no one was inside the property by the time fire crews arrived.

He said: “We have got around 80 firefighters on scene who have worked extremely hard and put in a massive amount of effort to stop the fire from spreading to neighbouring properties.

“We are going to be damping down for some considerable time, maybe 12 hours.

“We will then start to investigate the cause of the fire.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service crews at the scene of a thatched building fire in Rockland All Saints. Picture: Luke Powell.Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service crews at the scene of a thatched building fire in Rockland All Saints. Picture: Luke Powell.

“The roof has collapsed and there will be a lot of water damage as well.”

He said crews had removed a number of gas cylinders.

Tom Bainbridge, barman at the White Hart pub, said the whole village had come out in response to the fire.

He added that the pub had been providing water to firefighters.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service crews at the scene of a thatched building fire in Rockland All Saints. Picture: Luke Powell.Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service crews at the scene of a thatched building fire in Rockland All Saints. Picture: Luke Powell.

Crews from across Norfolk were called to the scene, including the aerial ladder platform from Earlham and a water carrier from Hethersett.

At 7.30am on June 25 the scene remained unsafe to leave.

One fire service pump has been working since 11pm to keep the burning under control.

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