A MAN is still unaccounted for after a fire ripped through a listed cottage in the heart of a historic village.

The blaze broke out at Fuchsia Cottage, East Bergholt, just after 1.20am on Sunday.

It was not known whether the occupant of the grade two-listed building, in Gaston Street, was at home when the fire broke out.

Police said he was "unaccounted for" and no one had been rescued from the building, which was cordoned off with police tape today.


  • The wrecked Tudor cottage

Rev David Searle, who lives behind the property, said: "I assume they are trying to make sure there are no human remains in there.

"They are obviously looking at the structural stability of it now.

"The main concern of people this morning was whether he was in there and what caused the fire."

Firefighters fom Essex and Suffolk went to the blaze.

Emergency crews could see the fire from the A12 more than a mile away.

Four fire engines and an aerial platform were at the incident at the height of the blaze.

A neighbour said: "There were flames coming out of the top of the roof but the emergency crews were here really quickly.

"It's really sad. It's a lovely old cottage - it's a real shame.

"It's horrible for the people whose house it is - it's really upsetting."

Roger Harden took dramatic photos of firefighters tackling the flames.

"I could see them squirting water like crazy and lots of steam and smoke," he said.


  • Part of the roof collapsed

"They were very quick. The police blocked the road and wouldn't let anyone through."

Police were yesterday trying to trace the man who rents the cottage.

Suffolk fire and the police have launched a joint probe into the cause of the inferno.

A police spokesman said: "At the moment it is under investigation."


  • The view from the back of the cottage

Fire crews from Colchester, Manningtree, Nayland, Ipswich and Hadleigh had been sent to the scene.

The ferocity of the blaze meant the roof and first floor were in danger of collapsing so the fire had to be tackled from outside the building.

The blaze was out by 5am.