Village house devastated by huge blaze

PUBLISHED: 13:04 06 April 2006 | UPDATED: 11:39 04 May 2010

The roof of the two-storey property was completely destroyed and the first floor collapsed

The roof of the two-storey property was completely destroyed and the first floor collapsed

FIRE investigators were still at the scene of a fire in Welney yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon which almost destroyed a house. Flames tore through the property in the village, between Downham Market and Littleport, on Tuesday night. The alarm was raised a

Fire-fighters damp down the scene and check for hotspots in the property

FIRE investigators were still at the scene of a fire in Welney yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon which almost destroyed a house.

Flames tore through the property in the village, between Downham Market and Littleport, on Tuesday night.

The alarm was raised at around 8pm, when the occupants of Tall Pines, at Suspension Bridge, smelled smoke upstairs.

By the time the first fire crews arrived at the scene, close to the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust reserve, the roof was well alight and flames were shooting up to 20ft into the sky.

Six appliances from across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire and an aerial ladder took more than an hour to bring the blaze under control and stop it spreading to a neighbouring house.

By then, the roof of the two-storey property had been completely destroyed and the first floor had collapsed.

Yesterday, fire-fighters were still damping down at the scene and checking for hotspots in the property.

Householder Peter Cheese did not wish to comment. Neighbour Alan Coggins said he was watching football on television, when he heard what he thought was an ambulance pull up next door, just before 8pm.

"I looked out of the window and saw the flames, they were shooting 15 - 20 feet high. I came out to see if everyone was all right."

"It was really horrendous, believe you me. I really feel for them."

Fortunately, the wind carried the flames away from Mr Coggins' house.

Firefighters used an aerial platform and hose reel jet to prevent the fire spreading to a neighbouring property, which abutts Tall Pines, whose owners were out.

No-one was injured in the fire. While the cause of the blaze remained unknown yesterday, fire-fighters do not believe it was suspicious.

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