December 4 2013 Latest news:
By Matthew Stott
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
A DISABLED pensioner has been left without electricity after a fire broke out in a nearby fuse box.
Neighbours of Russell Keeley, 73, of Emmanuel Close, Ipswich, raised the alarm yesterday morning after his external electrical fuse box had caught fire.
Two fire crews were called to the scene at 4.25am and were able to douse the flames.
Mr Keeley, who uses a mobility scooter, said he was in shock when he awoke to discover firefighters were by his bedroom window.
“It was like a scene from a film,” Mr Keeley said.
“I woke up to all these flashing lights and the firemen were yelling at me ‘Don’t come out here’. It was quite shocking.”
Mr Keeley, whose wife Patricia died last March, said he did not smell any smoke or fire, but was grateful to the firefighters for acting so quickly.
Neighbour Anne Grey, 51, phoned the emergency services after being alerted to the smell of smoke by another neighbour.
She said: “There was a distinct smell of acrid smoke coming up and the firemen were here within minutes.
“They used hand-held fire extinguishers to put out the flames really quickly and were brilliant with us. They stayed for at least two hours to make sure it didn’t go back on fire.
“It’s hard to say what caused it.”
Following the blaze, Mr Keeley was left without any electricity in his home.
He added: “I’ve got no electricity, no hot water, and no heat.
“The council wanted me to move into a homeless shelter but I was told I wouldn’t be able to bring my parrot, Malcolm, and two cats Sam and Timmy.
“I said if they don’t go, I won’t go. I want to stay put with them. They’ve all I’ve got left.”
Mr Keeley last night said the council was arranging for his energy supplier to either fix or replace the damaged fuse box.