'It's such a shame' - villagers' sadness at major thatched roof fire
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
Neighbours have recalled the moment dozens of firefighters arrived in Thwaite to tackle a blaze which broke out on the thatched roof of a home.
A total of 23 fire crews from across Suffolk and Norfolk were dispatched to the scene after the fire was discovered by the homeowner at around 7.30am on Monday.
Fire engines lined the village's narrow roads and crew members set up equipment in nearby gardens as they fought to bring the blaze under control.
The residents of the property were unharmed and took refuge in a neighbour's home, firefighters at the scene confirmed.
The cause of the fire is yet to be determined and crews remain at the scene at this time.
David Briggs, who was born in the cottage but now lives next door, said it was sad to see the house he "treasures" in flames.
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He said: "My wife looked out of the conservatory window and said to me there was smoke coming out of the chimney of the house."
Mr Briggs' wife saw their neighbour trying to battle the flame with his garden hose.
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He added: "I said it's such a shame as I treasure that old house. I was born there and now live next to it.
"But it will be restored. When it was listed, they said it was built in about 1664. It's a very old house. It's full of old beams and everything."
Neighbour Jules Norman added: "We heard the sirens and thought something was going on. We knew straight away what had happened.
"It's one of the worst things that can happen to a thatch. That's their whole livelihood there."
Sally Hammond, incident commander at the scene, said: "It's a large property - it's 10 metres by 20 metres and the thatch fire was fully involved.
"Being a thatch fire, of course there's going to be significant damage to the property.
"We sent seven fire engines to the incident, along with a number of special appliances which helped to support a a larger scale incident at the scene.
"We don't know the cause of the fire as yet, so we will fully investigate that further down the line when we're able to gain access to the property properly."