Clifton Parish Council gives heartfelt thanks to firefighters who battled blaze at historic building

The chairman of Clifton Parish Council has praised the brave firefighters who battled a blaze in a historic village building last Friday (March 19).

Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:11 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th March 2021, 12:34 pm

On March 19, in the early hours of the morning, crews rushed to Clifton House, Church Street, where flames had spread through two floors of the building and up to its roof.

The blaze in the Grade II listed building was finally put out at 2am thanks to Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service, who were also assisted by crews from EEAST and HART.

Ray Dart, chairman of Clifton Parish Council, said: "Excellent and timely work by the fire service managed to save the building. One of the fireman remarked that it was lucky that it had been raining and the wind was low, otherwise the entire building could have been lost.

Photo: Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service.

"This would have been a sad end for an elegant, interesting and historically-important building.

"In its history, Clifton House, parts of which are believed to be from the early 18th Century, has been a rectory and a hostel for members of the WAF stationed in Clifton during the war. The building was affectionately known as "the Waffery" by local people until quite recently. Other inhabitants were members of the women's land army."

Firefighters battled for over an hour to save the building, which is derelict.

Talking to the Chronicle last Friday, a Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue spokeswoman, said: "At 12.23am BFRS were called to a report of a building fire in Church Street Clifton. On arrival crews were faced with a large detached house well alight on the first, and second floors and the roof.

"The fire was quickly brought under control and extinguished by 2am. At the height of the incident five pumps, one water carrier, three other units were in attendance.

"We were also supported by colleagues from the EEAST and HART.

"A fire investigation will be undertaken to establish the cause."