Felixstowe: Residents of Margery Girling House tell of fire drama

RESIDENTS and staff told told of the terrifying moment a fierce fire broke out at a sheltered homes complex.

The blaze happened at the Margery Girling House, Gosford Way, Felixstowe, on Tuesday evening shortly after 5pm and required two crews to extinguish it.

Pat Moody, 75, who has been in the home for three-and-a-half years, was in the upstairs lounge when the fire started and was worried some residents might have been in trouble.

“I was in the lounge and we were having a little tea party,” she said.

“I was helping clear up and the fire alarm went off – we all looked at each other because we thought we smelled something burning.

“It wasn’t very nice and a bit frightening.

“I was concerned about where it was and what was going on because in a flat you think someone might be at risk.

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“You were just hoping no-one was in trouble, but staff were reassuring us that it was OK.”

Pat, who is wheelchair-bound, was unable to escape downstairs because the lifts had to be turned off while crews were on the scene.

But she said she was glad staff members were with them to reassure them that nobody was in trouble.

Jane Kitteringham, 42, the operations manager of the home, was full of praise for the quick work of fire crews, but added it felt like hours for the flames to be extinguished.

She said: “There was smoke coming out and flames were coming through the slats of the boiler room.

“They (fire crews) were very quick. They were here within five to ten minutes and it was all over and done with in a reasonable time, but it seemed like hours.

“The boiler room is completely ruined, but at the end of the day nobody was hurt.”

A spokeswoman for the fire service said: “We don’t know the cause of the fire – it is still being investigated.”