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Newly converted barn destroyed by fire

PUBLISHED: 17:16 13 February 2009 | UPDATED: 15:01 07 July 2010

Kathryn Cross

Friends and neighbours were rallying round today to help a family who lost almost everything in a fire at their newly converted barn.

The owners of the barn in Mill Road, Hardingham, were at a neighbour's house when the fire took hold in the roof of their home and quickly spread at around 9pm last night.

Friends and neighbours were rallying round today to help a family who lost almost everything in a fire at their newly converted barn.

The owners of the barn in Mill Road, Hardingham, were at a neighbour's house when the fire took hold in the roof of their home and quickly spread at around 9pm last night.

Fire crews from Wymondham and Hingham were first on the scene and found the roof well alight. Additional support was called from Hethersett and Dereham with a total of 40 firefighters at the scene. The fire was out by 11pm but two appliances stayed at the property for several hours checking for hot spots.

Group manager Guy McCurley said the crews had to deal with terrible weather conditions.

“We had to rotate the crews because it was freezing cold and when they initially arrived it was blizzard conditions which was very punishing for them,” he said. “The roads were treacherous.

“The property was severely damaged when the first crew arrived from Hingham but they managed to rescue two cats and a dog.

“The owners were not at home but when they were alerted it was very distressing for them to find such a fire had taken hold. Fortunately no-one was hurt and it was some comfort to them that their pets were rescued.”

Two fire investigators were expected to stay at the scene for most of the day along with a crew from Hingham but the cause had not yet been determined.

Mr McCurley said: “There was a woodburner alight in the house but it is too soon to say that was the cause. It started in the roof and we are not treating it as suspicious.”

It is understood that the family, said to be a couple and their daughter, had spent the last few years renovating the barn and work was still ongoing in an end room, which was the only room undamaged by the fire.

Firefighters managed to prevent the fire taking hold in an adjoining barn conversion and also recovered some possessions and valuables from the damaged property.

“I am confident that this house will be restored, despite the damage, to the fantastic condition it was previously in,” said Mr McCurley. “The neighbours have rallied round and their support and help has been fantastic. They really helped make a terrible situation so much better for the owners.”

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