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'The heat was unbelievable' - Ipswich residents speak out after serious fire

PUBLISHED: 07:30 17 June 2019

Adam Glowacki has been left with damage to his property after the fire Picture: ARCHANT

Adam Glowacki has been left with damage to his property after the fire Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Neighbours have told of their shock and fear after a fire of "unbelievable heat" broke out on an Ipswich housing estate.

Nearby residents had to be evacuated Picture: CONTRIBUTEDNearby residents had to be evacuated Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Emergency services were called to Benezet Street at around 4.30am on Sunday after a serious fire broke out in a wooden bin store.

Officers from Suffolk police were among the first on the scene and helped to rouse residents in nearby houses.

Three properties had to be evacuated with one witness reporting that police had kicked down doors to get people out of their homes.

Firefighters from the Ipswich East and Princes Street stations attended the fire and used a hose reel, a covering jet and a thermal imaging camera to locate and extinguish the blaze before leaving the site shortly after 5.30am.

The heat of the fire caused cracks in the windows of neighbouring properties Picture: ARCHANTThe heat of the fire caused cracks in the windows of neighbouring properties Picture: ARCHANT

Suffolk Fire and Rescue confirmed on Sunday that the cause of the fire is not yet known but is being treated as suspicious.

As well destroying the bin store itself the blaze caused damage to the rear of a property that backed onto the store, forcing residents to board up their kitchen window.

Adam Glowacki, who lives opposite where the fire took place, saw the events unfold.

"I was sleeping downstairs and I heard what we thought was rain," said Mr Glowacki, "it was the wood burning up.

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"We opened the door and saw the flames. The heat was unbelievable.

"Another neighbour called the fire brigade and a few minutes later the firefighters came."

Mr Glowacki said that it was the fourth time that he could recall there being a fire in the bin store.

Mr Glowacki's neighbour Darwin Balmedina called the emergency services.

"I was sleeping," said Mr Balmedina, "and I heard what was like heavy rain."

Mr Balmedina said he been struck by the red light coming from the fire across the road and had opened his curtain's to see the fire taking hold.

"It was scary," he said, "I wanted to jump out of my window and knock on my neighbour's door.

"I called the fire service."

As a result of the fire's heat a number of properties in the street have been left with large cracks in their window panes while blackened debris remains in the bin store.

A spokesman for Suffolk police confirmed that no-one had been injured as a result of the blaze.

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