Fire has badly damaged a thatched house in Essex. It broke out at Pledgdon Green near Henham just after five o'clock this morning. At its height more than fifty firefighters were at the scene. They were unable to save the roof and a large part of the first floor was also destroyed.
RSPCA officers were also called to the scene to help find a six foot long python. The snake was found unharmed. The cause of the fire is being investigated.