Search

Arson attack in Woodbridge

PUBLISHED: 23:03 06 May 2002 | UPDATED: 11:52 03 March 2010

A CHARRED rubbish bin and polythene sheeting draped over a roof today bear testimony to a suspected arson attack which threatened to destroy a Woodbridge shopping centre.

A CHARRED bin today bears testimony to a suspected arson attack which threatened to destroy a shopping centre.

More than 35 firefighters were called to Woodbridge to tackle the blaze at the Turban Centre.

It is believed arsonists started a fire in the rubbish bin behind the centre and it then threatened to spread to nearby shop roofs.

Fire crews from Woodbridg,e Ipswich and Felixstowe fought the blaze, which started at about 8.45pm yesterday.

They arrived to find the fire had taken hold of Finch's fruit and vegetable shop in Hamblin Road. The roof of the premises was already well alight, and took an hour to bring under control.

No one was in the shops, or at home in a flat which was also affected, when the fire broke out.

Martyn Forke, community safety officer for Suffolk Fire Service, said: "We had about 35 firefighters there, but the fire affected three shops and a flat. There is severe damage to the roof of the shops by fire and severe damage by smoke to a neighbouring flat.

"We are treating the bin fire at the back of the shop as suspicious. I think about a third of the roof will have to be removed and retiled."

Tim Fincham, a businessman from Woodbridge, saw the blaze and watched the firefighting operation.

He said: "I just came along and saw smoke coming out of the building and the fire brigade were all here. You do wonder if kids are responsible."

It is believed vandals also struck at an Ipswich furniture store when a skip was set alight just before 2.30pm yesterday.

Two fire crews put out the flames in the skip at the back of AFH on London Road. The fire had been stoked with rubber tyres.

Elsewhere, firefighters from Woodbridge put out a blazing pile of logs on a playing field off Wickham Market's Main Street at 5.30pm.

A chimney fire also broke out yesterday at Brown's Farm on The Street, Holbrook.

One crew based in the village had extinguished the flames by 6.20pm.

In the early hours of yesterday morning, firefighters from Princes Street, Ipswich, extinguished a car fire – which spread to some nearby bushes – at the back of Thurleston School, Whitton Church Lane, shortly after midnight.

And today a fire crew from Woodbridge put out a car fire on the junction of the B1078 in Manor Road, Clopton just after 6am.


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad, serving as your advocate and trusted source of local information. Our industry is facing testing times, which is why I’m asking for your support. Every single contribution will help us continue to produce award-winning local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ipswich Star

An Ipswich-based law firm said it is unlikely the coronavirus stamp duty holiday will be backdated to March, despite a growing campaign. Last week chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that property buyers would pay no stamp duty on homes worth less than £500,000. According to Birketts law firm, this means someone buying a house for £341,091 – the average price of a house in East Anglia – would save £7,054. Now, a national law firm, Simpson Millar, has called on the government to backdate this tax cut to the beginning of lockdown on March 31. Sarah Ryan, head of private client and conveyancing at the firm, said: “We of course welcome the plans announced to freeze the stamp duty costs on any property up to the value of £500,000 which will not only encourage potential buyers to move on and up the proverbial ladder, but will also help to retain jobs in the real estate sector. “However, there is no denying that for some, in particular those individuals, couples and families who have managed to complete on the purchase of their home either during lockdown, or in the immediate aftermath, this will come as a bitter blow.” A petition calling for the government to backdate the holiday even further has gained nearly 10,000 signatures. If the petition reaches 10,000 signatures the government has to respond and if the petition reaches 100,000 then a debate in parliament must be held. But Karl Pocock, partner and head of tax at Birketts, does not think the government is likely to make this move. He said: “Although there are calls for Rishi Sunak to backdate the reduced stamp duty rates to the start of lockdown, the Chancellor’s goal seems to be to galvanise the housing market now. As such, much as a backdated rate cut would be very welcome news for anyone that had completed on a property purchase prior to the change in stamp duty rates, it is, in our view, unlikely. “The various residential property teams at Birketts have seen a surge in transactions as lockdown restrictions were lifted. Much of this activity was existing transactions restarting. However, we expect that the reduction in stamp duty rates will provide a further, sustained, boost to this part of the economy in the short term.”