Anger after firebugs torch sheds

RESIDENTS in the Stoke area of Ipswich have today vented their anger at firebugs who torched their sheds.Three sheds in the same area were targeted in separate incidents last night within hours of each other, prompting the fire service to issue a warning to be vigilant.

RESIDENTS in the Stoke area of Ipswich have today vented their anger at firebugs who torched their sheds.

Three sheds in the same area were targeted in separate incidents last night within hours of each other, prompting the fire service to issue a warning to be vigilant.

In one incident the blaze blew out a bathroom window and fire bosses have warned could have seen someone killed.

Russell Webb, of Wherstead Road, had to be treated by paramedics after he tried to fight the blaze which is the fourth one at his property in three years.

He has now vowed to move house following the blaze, which started at around 8.50pm.

The 48-year-old warehouse worker and his partner, Sandra Peck, were in a back room when they heard a cracking noise, and then their neighbour banged on the door to alert them about the fire.

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Mr Webb said: “We have had our bins and fence set alight before. We are moving now because we have had enough.

“When I was told about the fire, I went flying up the stairs to the bathroom and started trying to put the fire out from there. The bathroom window had been blown out so I was in there chucking water out. I had a heart attack in July so I just got really out of breath.”

The shed, which was completely destroyed, contained mostly electrical tools, as well as personal possessions such as video tapes, amounting to thousands of pounds.

Earlier that night, at about 6.45pm, arsonists torched a shed further along the road.

Robert Peck, 22, was in the house watching television at the time and only realised the shed was alight when his neighbours told him. New garden table and chairs were perished in the fire, along with a lawn mower and a bicycle.

Mr Peck, who lives with his father and brother, said: “It is very annoying. I am really grateful to our neighbours because they did everything. They tried to put it out and called the fire brigade.”

Less than an hour later, at 7.40pm, another fire was started in a shed in Croft Street, causing minimal damage.

The 76-year-old homeowner, who has lived in the house for 50 years, said: “My neighbour had seen someone start it and called the fire service. The shed is at the very back of the garden so I didn't know what had happened until he told me and I saw the firemen.

Sub officer Chris Gibbs at Princes Street said: “It is a case of residents being vigilant and keeping their valuables safe. The last fire could have potentially caused harm to life. It did affect someone as they had to be treated at the scene so it was quite dangerous to say the least.

“We would assume all three incidents are linked but we are investigating them along with police.”

n. Are you a resident in the area concerned by the fires? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.