Four people escaped from a village home which was engulfed by flames.
They left the 15th century timber-framed Ostler’s Cottage, in Malting End, Wickhambrook, on Wednesday afternoon to see the tiled roof already well alight, according to fire crews.
Faced with swirling winds, 45 firefighters fought the blaze which gutted the cottage and spread to the roof of another house.
They removed tiles from the adjacent house to deal with the flames before they took hold and used jets to protect an oil storage tank.
A fire brigade spokesman said a command unit, Bury St Edmunds’ aerial appliance and 10 appliances from as far afield as Mildenhall and Sudbury, as well as neighbouring counties, attended following a call at 3.40pm.
Pat Dacey, western district commander, said all of the house was involved in fire.
He added: “It was a very rapidly spreading fire which generated an awful lot of heat. It’s exposure to the other property posed a serious risk.”
Due to a burst water main, water was supplied by a water shuttle and the Salvation Army was requested to attend for crew welfare.
The fire was under control by 6.27pm and crews had left the scene by 6.32am today.