December 10 2013 Latest news:
Wednesday, September 4, 2013
A man is fighting for his life today after he was forced to jump from the top floor window of a derelict house in Ipswich to escape an inferno which ravaged the building.
Firefighters, police and paramedics were sent to the scene in Gippeswyk Road just after 3am yesterday when the alarm was raised by a member of staff at a sheltered housing complex next to the building.
The man, 27, and another man, 41, believed to be from eastern Europe, are thought to have been squatting in the house, which has been empty for about three years.
The pair were taken to Ipswich Hospital suffering with burns. The 27-year-old last night remained in a critical condition with burns and fractures sustained in the fall. The older man suffered minor injuries.
A cordon was put up around the area as an investigation was launched into the blaze, which has been described as suspicious by Suffolk police.
Tanzir Talukdhar, a support worker at the neighbouring sheltered housing complex, run by Stepping Stones East, was among those who witnessed the blaze.
He said: “I was in the office at about 3am and I could hear two people shouting and I could hear glass breaking. I went outside but couldn’t see anything. But when I moved out I could see two guys on the street.
“I went back into the house, called the fire brigade, alerted some of the residents and came back out again.
“The flames had actually gone up and were up to the top floor and the roof. I went back into the house, got everybody out of bed and went to the fire point.
“When I got out again I saw the windows cracking and the fire was coming out of it. It was strong and it was getting stronger and stronger.”
Two fire crews from Princes Street were sent to the blaze at about 3.05am. The fire started on the ground floor but then spread to the first floor and the roof.
The firefighters used a turntable ladder, two jets and a hose reel to bring the blaze under control.
Police are now appealing for anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area, or has any information, to contact them by calling 101.