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Neighbours in Thwaite have spoken of their shock and devastation as blaze rips through thatched roof

Shocked neighbours have spoken of their devastation after a blaze ripped through a thatch roof in their village.

David Briggs, 82, said at first he thought it was early morning fog as he saw smoke rising from the Grade II Listed property, directly opposite his house on Church Lane, Thwaite, Suffolk.

A total of 11 fire engines plus auxiliary vehicles from across Suffolk and Norfolk attended the scene after the fire was discovered by the homeowner at around 7.30am today.

Mr Briggs, said: "I was actually born in that house, as were my eight brothers and sisters, and it is utterly devastating.

"My wife was making tea this morning and I pointed out to her at first what I thought was fog.

"Then I saw the owner with a hose pipe.

The scene this morning
The scene this morning

"He had called the fire brigade and asked me to get my pressure washer - but the flames took hold quickly.

"Everyone is upset for the couple who are lovely neighbours; you couldn't ask for better.

"It's devastating and I phoned my sister in America this afternoon to tell her.

"There were firecrews everywhere, and I told them they could go wherever they liked, as long as it wasn't on my vegetable plots."

The cause of the fire is still unknown as investigations begin.

The thatch has been destroyed.
The thatch has been destroyed.

It was finally extinguished at about 3pm this afternoon.

The owners, who are originally from Scotland, were too upset to speak about the fire.

"Everyone is upset for them," said Mr Briggs.

Sally Hammond, group manager for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said around 60 firefighters. attended the blaze.

UK Power Networks was also called as the fire involved power lines.

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