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National Stud boss escapes unhurt from fire

NATIONAL STUD managing director Brian O’Rourke escaped unhurt when a blaze badly damaged his home on the Newmarket site in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Around 75 per cent of the tiled and thatched roof of the cottage close to the stud entrance was destroyed.

O’Rourke, who lives alone in the Listed property thatdates back to the early 19th century, was woken by water coming through the ceiling. On inspecting the loft and seeing flames, he hurriedly fled to safety with his pet labrador Henry.

Ten fire crews from Cambridgeshire and Norfolk were called to the scene just after 2am. The cause of the blaze has been confirmed as an accident and is thought to have started with an electrical fault in the roof.

O’Rourke, who did not want to comment on the incident, is understood to have moved into other accommodation at the stud.

Dave Richardson, of Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Once a fire has started in a thatch roof it is extremely difficult to stop it from spreading.”

 

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