13 fire crews battle blaze at 'beautiful thatched house'

Thatched house fire

Firefighters tackled the fire in the thatched home at High Road in Needham. - Credit: Danielle Booden

Fire crews are this morning still at the scene of a fire which ripped through a "beautiful thatched house" in a Norfolk village.

Eyewitnesses say a thatched cottage on High Road in Needham, South Norfolk caught fire at around 6.30pm on Tuesday, with the "whole roof" going up in flames.

Firefighters at scene of thatched cottage fire.

Firefighters at the scene of the fire in Needham. - Credit: Danielle Booden

In response, Norfolk Fire and Rescue mobilised 11 engines and Suffolk two.

According to a fire service spokesperson, the person who lived inside the property was not harmed and "got out in time".

They do not yet know the cause of the fire, but confirmed that police and ambulance services were also called to attend.

While the worst of the flames were dampened within the first 40 minutes or so using main jets, hose reel jets, foam and ladders, Needham parish council chair Andrew Major, who lives in the village, said the roof had "continued to burn" all evening.

He said: "I can see the property from across the field near me. It's still smouldering and I imagine it will be all night.

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"The fire service's strategy seems to be to keep the flames under control as best they can, but there's still occasional flares. 

"It's such a shame and a tragedy. It was an absolutely beautiful 16th century thatched house. One of the nicest in the village."

Some appliances had left by about 10pm last night, but Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said a crew was still at the scene this morning, checking for hot-spots.

Thatched cottage damaged by fire in Needham

Firefighters tackled the blaze in Needham. - Credit: Danielle Booden