'Devastated' neighbours support family after fire destroys thatched roof
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Villagers in Thwaite have been left "devastated" after a thatched roof fire scorched an historic home - with neighbours pledging to support the family affected.
A total of 23 fire appliances from across Suffolk and Norfolk were dispatched to a two-storey property in Church Lane shortly after 7.30am on Monday.
Fire engines lined the village's narrow roads as dozens of firefighters fought to bring the blaze under control.
Crew members at the scene confirmed the family living in the home had taken refuge with a neighbour.
A stop was called by Suffolk fire service shortly after 3pm and the smell of smoke was still noticeable in the area the following day.
The structural beams of the house, which is believed to date back to the 17th century, have been left exposed due to the blaze.
The cause of the fire has not yet been confirmed by the fire service.
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Neighbours in Thwaite said the community is rallying around the family at the home following the incident.
Mary Briggs said: "Everybody knows everybody in this village. We all feel so sorry for them and we will all offer our help.
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"It's such a shame. That house has stood since 1664 - it's such a beautiful house. I think they will rebuild it."
Another resident, who gave his name as Mr Parnell, added: "I'm devastated for them. I think it will take at least 18 months for them to get back in the house.
"We were blocked in by the fire engines all day.
"Everyone here has offered to help the family."
Martin Barrett said: "We have said we will try to help them. It was a big shock.
"I had to pick up my vehicle from Haughley and came back to the fire brigade. It's horrible to think this has happened."
And Jacqui Lawrence said: "I don't know the family personally, but this is really shocking. We're just really grateful they were able to get out safely.
"Credit goes to the fire service - they used some of the water from our pond.
"We've not spoken to the family, but we will make sure we go down and see if there's anything we can do."