Up to 70 firefighters battle thatch blaze

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Up to 70 firefighters, from across Suffolk, battled a thatched roof fire in Thurston, last night (18).

Crews battled the fire, at a property in Pepper Lane, through the night and were able to save 30 per cent of its structure by creating a break at the rear of the building.

The alarm was raised at 8.06pm yesterday evening.

Two appliances from Bury St Edmunds, as well as crews from Elmswell, Ixworth and Stowmarket attended the fire assisted by the Multistar from Bury St Edmunds, a control vehicle from Ixworth and a water carrier from Newmarket.

They reported that the thatch was well alight.

The fire had broken through the thatched roof and crews used ladders, hose reels and the Multistar to battle the blaze.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus were initially able to enter the building but later withdrew following an internal collapse on the first floor.

At about 10.50pm crews created a fire break at the rear of the property which will preserve 30 per cent of the structure.

A third appliance from Bury St Edmunds, a crew from Needham Market and two appliances from Newmarket as well as an operational support unit from Ipswich East and appliances from Wickhambrook and Mildenhall were called to assist during the night.

The incident has now been scaled down and crews have been able to re-enter the property to remove fallen thatch from the first floor.

They remain on site maintaining a watching brief.

The Salvation Army supplied crews with refreshment throughout the night and crews from Hadleigh, Debenham, Eye and Long Melford provided relief.