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ARSON INVESTIGATION AT PUB

PUBLISHED: 11:06 08 September 2001 | UPDATED: 10:29 03 March 2010

POLICE are investigating a suspected arson attack on an Ipswich pub, where it is claimed somebody climbed through a bathroom window and set fire to a customer's bed while he slept.

POLICE are investigating a suspected arson attack on an Ipswich pub, where it is claimed somebody climbed through a bathroom window and set fire to a customer's bed while he slept.

The blaze at Kings pub on Hawthorn Drive, Chantry broke out at 4.15am on Saturday morning.

Shaun Hammett, who was sleeping in the room at the time, described how he woken by temporary landlord Shaun Bullock, and told the building was on fire.

"The hallway was full of smoke.

"I ran to the phone, called the fire brigade then got a handkerchief over my mouth, ran down the hallway and got everyone out," he said.

Customer Paul Parker, who was sleeping in the room where the fire started, received burns to his left arm but refused hospital treatment.

Mr Bullock and his son, Callum, two, who was also in the pub at the time of the fire, escaped uninjured with Mr Hammett.

Police confirmed they were treating the blaze as 'arson where life was endangered.'

Mr Hammett, who is preparing to take over the licence at Kings, added: "At the moment it looks like somebody broke in through the bathroom window and set fire to the bed. Paul has got blisters all up his arm."

Station Officer Barry Kent, officer in charge at the scene of the blaze, said: "The potential was there for it to be a lot worse. Luckily as the landlord was up at the time it was okay.

"All the occupants were waiting outside when we got there. There were no smoke detectors in the living quarters upstairs, although there were some in the pub downstairs.

"Smoke detectors might have alerted them to the incident earlier. Apart from that they did all the right things. They made their way out of the premises and called us.

The upstairs of the pub was left slightly smoke damaged and a mattress was destroyed in the blaze, but Mr Kent described the overall damage to the pub as slight.

Mr Hammett declined to comment on why he believed somebody would try to set fire to a bed in the pub while a customer was sleeping.

Toiletries and other items lay smashed in the sink - damage which Mr Hammett believes was caused when the arsonist climbed through the first floor window to enter the building.

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