Arson search after Suffolk blazes

ARSONISTS are being hunted today after striking at two separate locations in Suffolk within the space of one hour.The fire bugs set alight a large storage shed in Ipswich which was totally destroyed and two vehicles in Raydon near Hadleigh.

ARSONISTS are being hunted today after blazes at two

separate locations in Suffolk within the space of an hour.

A large caravan was destroyed in Ipswich and two vehicles set alight in Raydon.

In the first incident, fire crews had to clear away onlookers after a gas

canister exploded inside the burning caravan, in Bader Close.

The blaze was ignited near the

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former 405 Social Club.

A mother-of-two, who alerted crews, said the fire was the latest in a long line of incidents in the troubled Nacton Road area of town.

The 31-year-old, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said: "It's not unusual around here. I have lived in the area for 17 years and the problems have got much worse lately.

"I have two children, aged ten and 14, and I don't let them out at night because I fear they will either get hurt or get in trouble.

"There are gangs roaming around here. I phoned the fire brigade because the fire was looking bad and I thought somebody might get hurt."

ADO Dave Atkinson, who attended the blaze, said firefighters were

concerned more gas canisters could have been inside.

"The canister had exploded before we arrived. Quite a crowd had gathered. If people had been closer there could have been injuries.

"We cleared a safe area around the caravan then firefighting took place."

The fire, which broke out shortly before 5.40pm, destroyed the 20metre by 5metre building which was being used for storage.

The Nacton Road area, including the Gainsborough and Greenwich estates, has hit the headlines in the past after being blighted with crime.

In November, Suffolk police launched Operation Martley in a bid to crack down on the increase in crime.

Incidents such as car thefts, criminal damage and shed burglaries were all reported to be on the up.

At the time, police said Bader Close, Lindbergh Road and Queen's Way shops were particular trouble spots.

Elsewhere, retained firefighters from Hadleigh were called to Wades Lane, Raydon, just before 6.40pm after a derelict camper van and a car went up in flames.

The blaze was under control shortly before 7pm.

The Hadleigh area has also been plagued by a series of arson attacks. At a Hadleigh Town Council meeting on February 21 Pc Stuart Colbear reported there had been 39 crimes in the town since the last monthly meeting. Seven of these were arson.

Police today confirmed yesterday evening's fires were being treated as arson, although they are not being linked.

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