Blaze which destroys home is treated as ‘suspicious’

Fire, thatched cottage in Braunston in Rutland'Photo: Lee Hellwing
Fire, thatched cottage in Braunston in Rutland'Photo: Lee Hellwing
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A fire which ripped through a family home in Braunston-in-Rutland on Tuesday is being treated as “suspicious”.

Fire crews were called at 12.30am to Church Street in the village to the fire which started in a BMW and spread to a thatched cottage.

The cottage is owned by Mike Fagan who lives there with his family but luckily they were all able to escape the blaze uninjured.

Six appliances, including ones from Oakham and Uppingham attended the blaze, and due to a lack of water in the area, firefighters were forced to pump water from a stream near Church Street to help them battle the flames.

A police spokesman said: “At this stage the incident is being treated as suspicious and inquires are ongoing in relation to it.”

Chris Parsons, station manager at Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The fire spread very quickly due to the nature of the thatched roof.

“The family evacuated the property but were unable to gather any belongings due to the severity of the fire.

“We have done some limited salvage, we recovered some items from the home in the early stages of the fire.”

Mr Fagan said he did not wish to comment.

After the fire was brought under control on Tuesday, firefighters removed thatch from inside the remains of the property which was gutted by the fire.

In a heartwarming act of kindness, The Old Plough pub which is located near the blaze provided tea, coffee and sandwiches to firefighters, police officers and residents on Tuesday in the hours after the blaze was extinguished.

Carrie-Anne Cook, the manageress of the pub said: “It is our village, we are a community pub, it is something we wanted to do.”

Mr Fagan’s neighbour Jane Van Herrewege said she woke up at 3.15am to the sound of several emergency services vehicles outside.

She said:“It is shocking.

“I know everybody has got out alright but I think it is going to be absolutely wrecked inside. You cannot replace things like photographs, that is the heartbreaking thing.”

It is believed the BMW is owned by a neighbour of Mr Fagan.

If you have information about the incident call police on 101.