Drug den fire probed

POLICE were today investigating the cause of a fire in an unoccupied house believed to have been a haunt for local drug users.The fire took hold of the house, in Station Street, Ipswich, at around 1pm on Monday but fire crews were unable to complete their investigations into the cause of the fire after finding several used syringes laying around.

FIREFIGHTERS were today investigating the cause of a fire in an unoccupied house, believed to have been a haunt for local drug users.

The blaze took hold of the house, in Station Street, Ipswich, at around 1pm on Monday but fire crews were unable to complete their investigations into the cause of the fire after finding several used syringes laying around.

The fire was quickly brought under control by firefighters, although a female resident of the adjoining property was forced to flee after smoke spread into her house.

Residents claim that drug users and squatters had been using the house over a period of several weeks.


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Police and council officials were aware of the incidents, although no action had been taken. The house was due to be up for auction in the near future.

The owner of the house next door to the property, whose daughter lives in the adjoining house, but who declined to be named, said: "The house next door has been empty for a long time.

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"It was due to be up for auction. There have been squatters in there for a while now and we have been on to the council and police about it."

No one was hurt in the incident although a female resident, believed to have been in her mid-twenties, was treated for shock by paramedics after smoke spread into her house.

Four appliances, including one with a turn table ladder, from Princes Street and Colchester Road, Ipswich, attended the scene after receiving repeated emergency calls.

Dave Collins, sub officer of the fire brigade, said: "The first officers were faced with quite a serious fire, which was spreading to the roof. They did well to bring it under control and prevent it spreading. The house was heavily smoke logged and was spreading to the adjoining house."

The road was closed while firefighters brought the situation under control and was put out by 1.30pm.

A police spokeswoman said: "We do not know the cause of the fire. There was no one in there and the premises were badly damaged. The house has been badly maintained and is in a state of disrepair. At the moment it is a matter for the fire service and we will wait for guidance from them."

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