Owner of cattery ‘devastated’ after fire destroys reception building

Ten fire crews are fighting a blaze at a cattery in Hockwold Photo: Ruth Lawes

Ten fire crews are fighting a blaze at a cattery in Hockwold Photo: Ruth Lawes - Credit: Archant

The owner of a cattery has told of his “devastation” after a blaze destroyed a reception building, but said no cats were harmed.

Ten fire crews are fighting a blaze at a cattery in Hockwold Photo: Ruth Lawes

Ten fire crews are fighting a blaze at a cattery in Hockwold Photo: Ruth Lawes - Credit: Archant

David Rolph, the owner of Country Retreat Boarding Cattery at White Dyke Farm, Hockwold, said fire crews were still at the scene on Friday morning after the reception caught fire at around 4.30pm on Thursday, October 29.

Ten fire crews from Methwold, Brandon, Thetford, King’s Lynn, Mildenhall, Downham Market, Fakenham, Wymondham, Watton and Swaffham attended.

Mr Rolph said: “The cattery is intact and we haven’t lost any cats, they are all safe, it just devastated the reception area.

“It caught fire at about half four. We think it was started by a log burner but we are not 100pc.

Ten fire crews are fighting a blaze at a cattery in Hockwold Photo: Ruth Lawes

Ten fire crews are fighting a blaze at a cattery in Hockwold Photo: Ruth Lawes - Credit: Archant


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“Fire fighters have been here all night to make everything secure, they are still here now.

“I feel devastated but at least everyone is safe, and no cats were harmed.”

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On Friday morning [October 30], the fire service said the blaze had been extinguished and the operation had been scaled down to one engine.

The spokesman said: “A fire engine is keeping an eye on it to ensure no flare ups would occur. The fire has been put out.”

Dean Lacey, fire manager at Fakenham said no people were injured and due to the “complex nature” crews would remain on site until the early hours of this morning.

He said: “It is complex because the roof has collapsed and we are unable to enter the building.

“It has been a joint effort with crews from Norfolk and Suffolk. We have begun investigating the cause of the fire, which is normal procedure.”

As crews tried to tackle the fire, residents in the Hockwold cum Wilton and Feltwell area were warned to close all doors and windows.

On Twitter, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “We are currently dealing with an incident in Hockwold Cum Wilton/Feltwell area. “Can all residents in the surrounding area please close all doors and windows.”

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