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'Flames were billowing out' - Shocked neighbours on moment fire engulfed home

PUBLISHED: 11:30 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:45 07 August 2019

It took 15 fire crews from Suffolk and Norfolk to control the blaze in Gislingham Road, Finningham Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE

It took 15 fire crews from Suffolk and Norfolk to control the blaze in Gislingham Road, Finningham Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE

SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE

Billowing flames could be seen by a street of concerned neighbours when a barn in Finningham, Suffolk, was gutted by a fire.

It took two hours to extinguish the fire in the house, which left multiple windows smashed Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUEIt took two hours to extinguish the fire in the house, which left multiple windows smashed Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service were called shortly after 9pm on Tuesday with reports of a house fire in Gislingham Road.

A total of 15 crews from across the region, including two from Norfolk, were called to the scene last night to discover a converted barn engulfed in flames.

The converted barn was left with a gaping hole in the roof after the fire spread through the property Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUEThe converted barn was left with a gaping hole in the roof after the fire spread through the property Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE

The blaze is thought to have gone through the roof and spread throughout the house, which was fully alight when firefighters arrived.

Two crews were sent out again on August 7 to dowse areas continuing to smoulder and a further inspection will be carried out later this afternoon.

One of the 15 fire crews at the scene of the converted barn fire that caught fire on August 6 Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUEOne of the 15 fire crews at the scene of the converted barn fire that caught fire on August 6 Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE

Karen Hudgell, who lives just metres from the scene, said: "Even from my garden you could see the flames billowing out to the top of the building.

"I got a call from a friend in Bacton telling me about it, she told me to get a dressing gown on and get outside.

The fire at a converted barn in Finningham, near Stowmarket, started about 9pm on August 6 Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUEThe fire at a converted barn in Finningham, near Stowmarket, started about 9pm on August 6 Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE

"It was after the first fire engine arrived that I got out there I saw a group of the neighbours already watching what was happening."

The barn was close to a number of other homes, as well as an open field to the rear of the property, prompting fears of a potential field fire.

Firefighters returned to the scene on Wednesday morning Picture: SONYA DUNCANFirefighters returned to the scene on Wednesday morning Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Mrs Hudgell added: "The real worry was the wind because the barn only had a small garden behind it and then it was the field - we didn't want the situation to get any worse than it already was.

"We called the rest of the houses to make sure everyone nearby knew what was happening and to make sure they were okay.

An investigation into the cause of the fire in Finningham, near Stowmarket, will now take place Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUEAn investigation into the cause of the fire in Finningham, near Stowmarket, will now take place Picture: SUFFOLK FIRE AND RESCUE

"People have been offering out spare rooms to help out. It's just what you do in these situations.

"The neighbour who lives opposite the fire said she had come home maybe 30 minutes before fire engines turned up in our road, so that fire must have taken hold pretty quickly."

The scene of the house fire in Finningham Picture: SONYA DUNCANThe scene of the house fire in Finningham Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

The fire had left windows shattered throughout the property, a gaping hole in the roof and belongings left inside charred.

A spokeswoman for the fire service said there is no indication anybody was hurt in the blaze. The cause of the fire is not known.

Fire crews were at the scene on Wednesday morning Picture: SONYA DUNCANFire crews were at the scene on Wednesday morning Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Jackie Atter, who also lives in Gislingham Road was taken by surprise when a fire engine parked on her driveway, almost 100m from the scene.

"We thought the house opposite was in trouble, then it turned out to be the one down the road," Mrs Atter said.

The roof of the barn conversion appeared to be severely damaged Picture: SONYA DUNCANThe roof of the barn conversion appeared to be severely damaged Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

"Me and my husband were sat in out living room about 10.15pm and we knew we could smell smoke, then we came out and saw the fire service just outside the house."

Firefighters had extinguished the fire by 11pm, with work continuing at the scene until after 1am.

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