Owner horrified as 'best cottage in village' hit by fire

Firefighters survey the roof of a cottage in Framingham Pigot

Firefighters survey the roof of a cottage in Framingham Pigot - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

The owner of a thatched Norfolk cottage has spoken of his horror after its roof went up in flames - but thanked firefighters who were able to keep the damage to a minimum.

Firefighters spent hours tackling the blaze at a cottage on The Street in Framingham Pigot, which broke out around 8.15pm on Friday evening in the home's thatched roof.

But a swift response meant that crews were able to remove some of the thatch, quelling the flames and preventing the blaze from spreading to other properties or gutting the house.

Firefighters at the aftermath of a blaze in Framingham Pigot

Firefighters at the aftermath of a blaze in Framingham Pigot - Credit: Victoria Pertusa

Ben Du Brow, who owns the property but lives elsewhere in the village, said both he and the tenants who lived at the property were "horrified" by the blaze, but grateful for the work of the firefighters.

He said: "The firemen were fabulous. I have lived here for many years, it is one of the last unspoiled villages in Norfolk, and this is the first fire I can remember.

"I had the roof rethatched around five years or so ago and the firefighters said that might have been what saved it from being worse, as it made it easier for them to deal with.

"There is significant water damage inside but what needs to be done will be done to it.

"The tenants have lived there for around 30 years and are obviously shocked but I can't praise the firefighters enough."

One neighbour, who did not wish to be named but stepped out to survey the scene, said: "It's such a shame. The garden always looks so nice and it's probably the best cottage in the village."

Group manager Duncan Ashworth

Group manager Duncan Ashworth - Credit: Aaron McMillan

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Duncan Ashworth, group manager for Norfolk Fire and Rescue, who was in charge at the scene, said: "Often with thatched roofs, the place can end up gutted right down to the brickwork and lose everything, but the structural integrity is intact.

"Thatched fires can be devastating but thankfully we were really quick and limited as much as we could. 

"It was also fortunate that the people inside noticed it early and were able to raise the alarm and get out in good time."