Villagers evacuated in Mendham fire

Residents of a Suffolk village were today evacuated from their homes over fears of an explosion during a house fire.A total of 40 people were evacuated from 30 properties in the village of Mendham, near Harleston, after firefighters discovered a number of gas canisters in the garage of house where fire had broken out.

Residents of a Suffolk village were today evacuated from their homes over fears of an explosion during a house fire.

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A total of 40 people were evacuated from 30 properties in the village of Mendham, near Harleston, after firefighters discovered a number of gas canisters in the garage of house where fire had broken out.

They set up a 200-metre exclusion zone around the incident in The Street, which included most of the homes in the tiny village.

The residents were taken to a nearby residential home, but it could be 24 hours before they are able to return to their own homes.

Firefighters from Harleston, Stradbroke, and Bungay, were called to the incident at about 2.10pm and are expected to remain on site throughout the night cooling down the gas canisters.