Quick-thinking residents save thatched roof post office after fire breaks out in village near Peterborough

Quick-thinking residents jumped into action to save a thatched roof post office near Peterborough after a fire broke out nearby.

On Sunday (March 3), at around 9:45pm, a fire broke out in a bin in Alwalton. The bin was located on the main high street of the village, right outside the Alwalton Store and Post Office.

Fire crews believe the fire started in the bin but it quickly spread to the fence of the post office and would perhaps have spread further to the grass or the thatched roof of the historic building if a group of people leaving The Cuckoo Pub had not noticed the fire and alerted staff back inside for help.

One of the people, who noticed the fire beginning to spread was resident Dan Martin, he said: “We left the pub around 9.45pm to walk home on Sunday.

The aftermath of the fire in Alwalton.

“As I looked into the direction of the post office I saw the bin/fence ablaze next to the building. The flames were very high and smouldering ashes were going up in the air.

“We called the fire service but also noticed the fire was burning in the direction of the post office which has a thatched roof, so decided I couldn’t wait for fire service to arrive.

“I went back to the pub and staff handed me buckets of water as well as coming out with buckets themselves. We eventually had to use a fire extinguisher to completely kill the fire.

“The fire service arrived very soon afterwards who made sure the fire was properly extinguished.

Alwalton Store and Post Office.

“It’s fortunate we noticed the fire before it spread too far.”

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have concluded that the fire was started accidentally.

A spokesperson said: “A crew from Stanground was called to a fire on Oundle Road in Alwalton at 9.44pm on Sunday.

“Firefighters arrived to find a fire involving a bin and extinguished it. They returned to their station by 10.25pm.

“The cause of the fire was accidental.”