'Flames were billowing out' - Shocked neighbours on moment fire engulfed home
PUBLISHED: 11:30 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:45 07 August 2019
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.
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 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.
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.
"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.
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.
"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 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.
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.
"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.