From N. Curtis, Niton:
I am writing this to thank the amazing firefighters who fought so valiantly to save the beautiful manor house in Puckaster Close, Niton, which burnt down on March 5.
My dwelling was in a kitchen wing built onto the Victorian manor in the 1920s. With extraordinary skill and bravery, the firemen managed to save the last two rooms, one of which was my living room with 15 years of painstaking research in it for the factual book I am writing.
The fire team from Newport risked their lives to vent the room and get hoses into it before the research books spontaneously combusted.
It was such a close call that the edges of the books and some of the thousands of notes in them were charred. Had they ignited, the room would have exploded.
As it was, the fire team scrambled in and rescued them the next day, along with my laptops, which were miraculaously unscathed, being the other side of the room from the water jets. I cannot begin to tell you what this meant to me.
The fire team continued damping down the smouldering ruins for several days as we shell-shocked tenants tried to rescue anything that was left.
Not only were the fire team consumate professionals in their control of an impossible fire but their kindness and compassion to us during the following days went far beyond their remit.
I cannot praise them highly enough and would like to tell the people of the Island they can sleep easy in their beds tonight knowing they have such heroes watching over them.
Grateful thanks also to the fantastic friends and neighbours who plunged in to help, even providing clothing for the people from five dwellings that lost all but what they were wearing that night.
Good bless you all and thank you so very much.