Couple talk of fire fears

A COUPLE who spotted flames leaping into the air from a nearby house today spoke of their fears that the property's owners would not get out alive.Pensioners Ellen and Fred Axworthy dialled 999 after seeing the fire from the window of their flat.

A COUPLE who spotted flames leaping into the air from a nearby house today spoke of their fears that the property's owners would not get out alive.

Pensioners Ellen and Fred Axworthy dialled 999 after seeing the fire from the window of their flat.

The couple - who live at Mays Court sheltered complex in Garrison Lane, Felixstowe - watched anxiously as they waited for the fire service to arrive at the scene in Stour Avenue, on the other side of a railway line.

"It was dreadful just having to watch and wait - the fire service came very quickly, but it seemed like an age while we were waiting," said Mr Axworthy.

Mr Axworthy, 68, had just returned home on Monday after an evening out playing cards when his wife, also 68, saw the fire out of the window.

"At first it looked just like a small fire in a garden, then it got bigger and bigger and my wife said, quick call the fire service, which we did," he said.

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"The flames were leaping into the air and were pretty fierce. I thought the whole house was going to go up.

"We have noticed before that they put their lights out quite early and the house was in darkness and we just thought they would be asleep and not even know the house would be on fire.

"It could have been very serious indeed and they were lucky it was quite a still night with no wind."

Mr Axworthy said he and his wife were just happy to have been able to help and were glad the fire service acted so promptly.

Police are treating the fire as suspicious. Householders Leonard and Tracey Barningham were in bed at the time and the first they knew about it was when they saw flashing lights from the fire engines outside their home.

They have expressed thanks to the Axworthys for calling the fire service and also to the firefighters for their excellent work in stopping the blaze spreading to a newly-built conservatory just feet from the fire.

The firebugs set light to a huge pile of cut down trees, and also torched a nearby outbuilding - the second time it had suffered an arson attack.

Anyone who saw people acting suspiciously in the Stour Avenue area, or on or near the allotments, or the path leading from Coronation Drive, is asked to contact Pc Andrew Masterson of Felixstowe police on 01473 613500.

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