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Family speaks of devastation after their 175-year-old barn in Hevingham is destroyed in a blaze

PUBLISHED: 16:03 25 October 2017 | UPDATED: 16:20 25 October 2017

Barn fire in Hevingham. Roberta Ellis, left, and her daughter Charlotte Macey. Pictures: David Bale

Barn fire in Hevingham. Roberta Ellis, left, and her daughter Charlotte Macey. Pictures: David Bale

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A family has spoken of being left “devastated” after their 175-year-old barn was gutted in a fire.

Barn fire in Hevingham. Pictures: David Bale Barn fire in Hevingham. Pictures: David Bale

Up to 30 firefighters tackled the blaze in Brick Kiln Road, Hevingham, near Aylsham.

The barn is owned by Terry and Roberta Ellis, who live in a bungalow near the site.

Mrs Ellis, 74. said: “That barn’s got so much sentimental value. My husband used to work in there feeding his cattle and pigs. It’s just a shell left. “It was very precious to us and we are devastated.

“But it could have been so much worse if someone in the village had not alerted the fire service so quickly, or if the wind had been blowing in another direction. The farmhouse next door could have been damaged.”

Barn fire in Hevingham. Pictures: David Bale Barn fire in Hevingham. Pictures: David Bale

The couple’s daughter Charlotte Macey, who also lives in the village with husband Steve, said: “This is where I grew up. It’s my life. And it was my dad’s life. Everybody cared about that place and is distraught. But it won’t keep us down. We’ll build it up again.”

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said there was “no definitive cause” of the blaze.

The fire also destroyed two tractors and other items of equipment stored by businesses at the site.

Crews from Aylsham, Sprowston, Earlham, Reepham, Carrow, Hethersett and Wymondham attended the blaze from about 4.30am on Saturday, October 21.

Barn fire in Hevingham. Pictures: David Bale Barn fire in Hevingham. Pictures: David Bale

Firefighters battled to stop the “significant and developing fire” from spreading to a neighbouring house.

Animals, including horses and about 50 chickens, were also housed near the scene but escaped unhurt.

In a letter sent to the EDP, Mrs Ellis thanked the firefighters.

She said: “I got down there at about 5am and it was well alight. The roof had already gone.

“I want to thank all the firemen; without their excellent team it would have been much worse.

“Also, thank you to all our friends who have supported us, the people of Hevingham who came together and collected food for the firemen. On behalf of my family, thank you.”

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