Fire at Ipswich flats

SUFFOLK police are investigating after suspected arsonists today put people living in a block of Ipswich flats at risk. Firefighters were called to reports of a fire in a cupboard, which was in a corridor in a block of flats in Manchester Road, Ipswich.

FIREFIGHTERS today told how they saved a sleeping man from a potentially fatal fire as his Ipswich flat burned.

While the fire, thought to have been started by a discarded cigarette, blazed in the kitchen, the man lay unaware in his bedroom.

But he was saved by fire crews, who were called to the first floor flat in London Road, Ipswich just after 10pm yesterday.

The firefighters managed to rouse the man before the fumes could fatally overcome him and lead him to safety.

Paramedics, who had also been called to the scene, took him to Ipswich Hospital.

A spokesman for the fire service, who had been on the scene, said: "We were called to the fire. It was a densely smoke-filled when we arrived.

Most Read

"The fire had died down when we arrived, but the problem was the dense smoke.

"The neighbours informed us that there was somebody in still in there.

"We had to have two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus to go in and search the flat. They found the man. He was in the bedroom. He was asleep.

"He hadn't realised because the fire was in the kitchen. We think it could well have been from a discarded cigarette."

"Everybody had been in quite severe danger because of the toxins in the smoke. But fortunately there were two doors between the fire and the man, which obviously saved him. We also intervened at a very early stage.

"If you smoke, make sure your cigarettes are completely extinguished before you go to bed and don't put them in the bin until the morning."

This was the second of two fires that broke out in Ipswich flats yesterday.

Earlier in the day, suspected arsonists put people at risk at Manchester Road flats.

Firefighters were called to reports of a fire in a cupboard in a corridor around 5.20pm.

Paramedics were also called and treated one patient for smoke inhalation at the scene.

Assistant divisional officer Ian Bowell, who is from the fire service, said: "We found that the door of the cupboard was on fire. There was some smoke and it had smoke-logged one of the ground floor flats next to the door. We had to ventilate the flat.

"We used two dry extinguishers as we had been told it could have involved electrical items.

"We believe the fire was suspicious.

"It was a small fire for us to deal with, but we wouldn't call it a minor fire because it inconvenienced the inhabitants at the flats and potentially put lives in danger.

"If you start a fire where people are living, you put people at risk.

"We have eliminated all other causes so we are of the opinion that it was started deliberately. We have passed information on to the police."

A police spokeswoman said: "It is being treated as suspicious and we will be investigating."

Firefighters were also called to 1,000 tonnes of baled straw that caught alight at the old Lavenham airfield off the A134 at Alpheton.

They were called just before 8pm yesterday .