Cigarette blamed for Ipswich house fire

A DISCARDED cigarette butt is thought to be the cause of a fire at a family home in Ipswich today.And a fire chief has issued a warning about the importance of smoke alarms after they found fire raging through the three-bedroom Valley Road home at around 8.

By MATTHEW WARD

matthew.ward@eveningstar.co.uk>

A DISCARDED cigarette butt is thought to be the cause of a fire at a family home in Ipswich.

A fire chief has issued a warning after crews were called to the home in Valley Road just after 8.30am today .

They found fire raging through the detached three-bedroom home.

Luckily the occupants, a mother and her two sons, were not home having left for work that morning shortly before the fire broke out.

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Assistant Divisional Officer Steve Rhind said: “We suspect this was caused by a cigarette end discarded in a pedal bin.

“There were also no smoke detectors in the house.

“If there had been we would possibly have had earlier warning. It is very important that people have working smoke alarms and if they smoke they should dispose of cigarette butts in a metal bin preferably outside.”

When fire fighters first arrived on the scene it was feared the occupants may still have been inside.

After launching a search and rescue bid it was discovered no-one was home. The fire was extinguished shortly before 9am.

Occupant Joseph Etheridge said: “I'm very glad I had to go to work this morning - and I don't normally say that!

“I'm just very glad that none of us were home and no one was hurt.

“I was very impressed by how quickly the fire service got here, and would like to say thank you to whoever it was that raised the alarm.”

The firefighters put out the blaze which had spread throughout both floors of the house, causing extensive damage shortly before 9am.

Have you been affected by a fire at your home? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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