Derelict shopping centre blaze

FLAMES ripped through a derelict Ipswich shopping centre today in a hectic morning for Suffolk's fire service.Neil Marjoram, 38, who saw the blaze at The Centre on Stoke Park Drive, said at one point he thought the fire in a flat above the disused shops would engulf the whole building.

FLAMES ripped through a derelict Ipswich shopping centre today in a hectic morning for Suffolk's fire service.

Neil Marjoram, 38, who saw the blaze at The Centre on Stoke Park Drive, said at one point he thought the fire in a flat above the disused shops would engulf the whole building.

Mr Marjoram, of Ramsey Close, said: “All the firefighters were running up and down and at one stage the roof collapsed.

“There were flames coming up both sides of the building. The firefighters did a really good job of putting it out.

“It was quite fun to watch and I wasn't worried because I didn't think it would reach the houses opposite and no one lives at the site at the moment.”

Seven crews and a turntable ladder attended the fire which broke out at around 1.35am, and the firefighters brought it under control by around 3.10am.

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As well as tackling the large blaze at the shopping centre, which is due to be replaced by a 25,000 sq ft Asda supermarket, 14 other shops, 51 apartments, a medical centre and car parking, crews were also called to a variety of fires around the county today.

A crew from Felixstowe attended a car fire on Constable Road in the town at around 12.40am.

The fire also affected a domestic garage but it was under control by around 1.40am. Meanwhile in Felixstowe another crew was called to a skip fire on Brook Lane in the town at around 1am. That fire was under control by around 1.25am.

Then at around 5.20am firefighters in Ipswich were called to Cavendish Street for another car fire which was under control by around 5.30am.

And at around 5.30am another call was received to a car fire in Selkirk Road in Ipswich. That fire was under control by around 6.05am.

Suffolk fire and rescue service said they had not yet determined if any of the fires were being treated as suspicious.

n Did you see any of the fires? Contact The Evening Star news desk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

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