The moment father-of-two grabbed hose to battle blaze as it moved towards homes in Halesworth

The blaze in Halesworth. Picture: Barbara King.

The blaze in Halesworth. Picture: Barbara King. - Credit: Archant

A Halesworth man has been praised for his bravery after he helped stop a blaze from spreading to a neighbour's home.

Chris Friend, (pictured left), jumped into action yesterday morning after his daughter alerted him t

Chris Friend, (pictured left), jumped into action yesterday morning after his daughter alerted him to a fire in the garden of a house on Churchill Road, owned by Barbara King (Pictured). Photo: Chris Friend. - Credit: Archant

Chris Friend jumped into action yesterday morning after his daughter alerted him to a fire in the garden of a house on Churchill Road.

The blaze, which started at around 4am, had already caused several gas canisters to explode and was rapidly spreading.

But it did not deter Mr Friend, who ran over to his neighbour's house, grabbed a hose and began to tackle the fire.

'I knew how bad it was going to be,' the 48-year-old said. 'But the adrenaline took over and I just grabbed a hose and attacked it.'

The fire, which started in the back of a property on Old Station Road, Halesworth. Photo: Chris Frie

The fire, which started in the back of a property on Old Station Road, Halesworth. Photo: Chris Friend. - Credit: Archant

MORE: 'There were five almighty bangs' - Terrified families evacuated from homes in Halesworth as fire spreads


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The father-of-two braved intense heat as he attempted to damp down his neighbour's shed and fence.

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'It was getting really hot, and it was moving quickly, but I knew the fire brigade was on its way,' he said.

Mrs King, who was at home on her own at the time, said the blaze had caused thousands of pounds wort

Mrs King, who was at home on her own at the time, said the blaze had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, adding that it destroyed her garden shed and hedgerow. Photo: Luke Powell - Credit: Archant

Mr Friend, who works as a HGV fitter, continued to spray the area with water for 10 minutes before crews took over.

His neighbour, Barbara King, 50, said it was thanks to his actions that the fire did not spread any further.

'Because he damped everything down, I think it stopped the fire from spreading,' she said.

MORE: Several houses evacuated in Halesworth after bonfire re-ignites and spreads

'But it was really dangerous because it was pretty damn hot there. I was really worried about him doing it.'

Mrs King said she had initially been woken by several large bangs - believed to be from the gas canisters exploding - in the early hours of Thursday morning.

As she went out to investigate, she saw her hedge and shed engulfed in flames.

Three fire crews were called to the east Suffolk market town, and families living nearby had to be evacuated from their homes.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said the blaze was believed to have been caused by a bonfire which had re-ignited in the garden of a property on Old Station Road.

Mrs King, who was alone in her house at the time, said the fire had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to her garden.

Her hedge row and shed were completely destroyed, and a wooden arbour was badly damaged on one side.

'I nearly passed out when I saw all the damage after the fire was put out,' Mrs King said.

'It was a lovely garden and we had put a lot of effort into it.'

The fire service was praised for its response.

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