Arson probe at docks

EXPERTS are investigating today after a potentially catastrophic fire at a warehouse in Ipswich docks. Thirty firefighters were called to the Kingavon warehouse in Duke Street shortly after 5pm on Sunday Speaking at the scene Assistant Divisional Officer (ADO) Paul Seager said: "The first calls that came in said there was a lot of smoke near Holden's Timber yard.

EXPERTS are investigating today after a potentially catastrophic fire at a warehouse in Ipswich docks.

Thirty firefighters were called to the Kingavon warehouse in Duke Street shortly after 5pm on Sunday

Speaking at the scene Assistant Divisional Officer (ADO) Paul Seager said: "The first calls that came in said there was a lot of smoke near Holden's Timber yard. We sent two pumps from Princes Street and a third from Colchester Road.

"On arrival crews were confronted with a serious fire. All they could see was black smoke so they called for further assistance."

Two further fire engines and a turntable ladder were called to the scene. Breathing apparatus was used to get close to the fire.

He said: "We found the fire was not in the warehouse but in a Portacabin adjacent to the warehouse. It was within a foot of the warehouse. It could very easily have spread."

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Mr Seager said the fire was close to turning into a major incident.

"This was potentially a very serious fire with potential risk to life and limb of firefighters and the public. It would have been a long and protracted job and destroyed hundreds of thousands of pounds of stock."

The warehouse was empty at the time of the incident.

Mr Seager said acrid smoke filling Ipswich town centre prompted a flood of calls from a concerned public.

He said: "We have had trouble with vandalism in this area. This is by far the most potentially serious in recent months."

The fire was extinguished at 5.45pm.

Mr Seager added: "The Portacabin is fairly well destroyed some of the windows were boarded up so it was possibly used as a store."

"Anyone who deliberately sets fire to someone else's business must have something wrong with them. There could have been economic, environmental and physical damage."

"It could have been a lot worse if it wasn't for the prompt calls from the public and the response of the fire brigade."

Police are treating the fire as suspicious. Pc Tom Farrell of Ipswich Police appealed for witnesses.

He said: "We are treating it as suspicious, if anyone has any information they should call us."

Anyone with any information should contact Pc Farrell on 01473 613500 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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