A farming family-of-five has thanked ‘friends, family and the whole community’ for coming to their aid after a devastating fire at their home in Camber.
Matt and Rosie Cooke – along with their three sons aged six, four and 10 months – saw their six-bedroom farmhouse destroyed after a blaze broke out at their property last Friday (September 29).
The fire, which also destroyed several agricultural buildings, started shortly before 10.30am after an accident involving a blowtorch used while laying bitumen roof felt.
Mr Cooke said: “Nobody was in the house at the time, thank god, it could have been so much worse. We are all okay but we are now facing the mammoth task of rebuilding our home.
“The fire service were incredible. They showed unbelievable bravery throughout, to go into the house again and again where there were tanks of fuel. We really will be forever grateful to them.
“I also want to say something about the response we’ve had from people. It’s genuinely humbled us.
“The support we’ve been given from our friends and family, even strangers, it’s been the whole community really.
“They’ve just flooded us with help and toys for the boys and everything we could need. The genorosity from people really has been one of the most amazing things about this.
“I only hope we’ll be able to shake everybody by the hand and thank them face-to-face one day.”
At the height of the blaze more than 30 firefighters attended the scene, although this number was scaled back as the fire was brought under control.
Crews wearing breathing apparatus used firefighting foam jets and hose reel jets to tackle the fire and were able to prevent it from spreading to buildings containing diesel tanks and farm equipment.
The fire was brought under control by around 3.51pm, although crews remained at the scene to damp down until later in the evening.
The fire was confirmed to be accidental following an investigation. No casualties were reported.
Peter Norman, who took this photo while visiting Camber, said: “Very sad to see this huge fire this morning just along the road from where we are staying at Camber... One of the beautiful old farm houses and barn were badly damaged.”