December 23 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Six fire crews have battled a blaze at a town centre shop in Carr Street, Ipswich.
The crews were called shortly after 10am when alarms went off at Peacocks in Carr Street and other shops in the street.
It is unclear how the fire started but part of the street was cordoned off by police while firefighters tackled the incident.
Crowds of people gathered on either side of the cordon along with staff from several shops evacuated as a precaution.
There were also people trapped in units on the other side of the street inside the cordon.
Two crews attended the incident initially but this had to be increased once the extent of the fire became clear.
Group Commander Dave Pedersen from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “We were called this morning to a fire inside Peacocks. They’d had a fire in the main shop, their sprinklers had operated and the shop was very heavily smoke logged.
“When the crews arrived they could see the extent of the smoke logging so we made up to six appliances to make sure we had enough kit and personnel to deal with the incident.
“There’s a lot of smoke in the shop at the moment, the sprinklers are operating so the conditions are quite arduous for the crews but we’re in a situation now were we believe we’ve got the fire surrounded.
“We’ll be looking to get it completely extinguished and then start the investigation as to what the cause of the fire was.
“We don’t know (how big the fire was) because of the amount of smoke in there at the moment but it was a reasonable size fire, not too big because the sprinklers did their job.
“We’ve evacuated the shops either side so we know they’re safe but the shops opposite, it’s usually in these kind of situations where they’re safer indoors.
“If it started to expand we’d consider evacuating them but it doesn’t appear to be the case in this incident.
“We’ll be working very closely with the shop owners with regards to getting it back to normality but our priority at the moment is to get the fire extinguished, make sure it’s done in a safe manner then start the investigation as to what the cause was.
“We’ll probably be here for another hour or so, but the investigation may go on for the rest of the day.”
Mr Pedersen added one of the reasons the fire didn’t spread too far was the sprinkler system in the shop.
He said: “They’re a fantastic facility to have, they contained the fire in the area where it originally started.”