Kelsale Hall fire: Manor house lost in large blaze

Kelsale Hall Image copyright Suffolk Fire and Rescue
Image caption Firefighters were called to Kelsale Hall in Suffolk at 17:45 GMT

A Grade II-listed building has been ravaged by a fire.

Crews were called to Kelsale Hall, a 19th Century manor house near Saxmundham, Suffolk, at 17:45 GMT on Wednesday.

It is thought the blaze started in a tumble dryer and spread through the house, destroying most of the building.

The property was occupied at the time but those inside managed to escape and there were no reports of any injuries, the fire service said.

Thirty-five response vehicles and 80 firefighters were called out to deal with the fire at its height.

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Ian Bowell from Suffolk Fire and Rescue said: "Whilst I say it was a tumble dryer, I think we should allow the investigation to completely exhaust all other options.

"But early indications yes, it was a tumble dryer seen to be alight.

"It's certainly not being treated as a suspicious fire but it is early stages of the investigation."

Image copyright Suffolk Fire and Rescue
Image caption The 19th Century building was "totally unsafe" for firefighters to enter

The fire started on the ground floor of the house.

The fire service said, due to the construction of the building, the fire spread through the voids into the basement and up two storeys to the roof.

Firefighters used water from a nearby pond and a hydrant supply on the A12 to tackle the flames.

"It was totally unsafe to go in there," Mr Bowell added.

"It's a sad loss and we haven't been able to save as much as we would like. But given the circumstances, we've done our best."

Image caption Firefighters were still at the scene on Thursday morning
Image caption The fire spread from the ground floor to the basement and up two storeys to the roof

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