Fire family may have to wait months to return

BUILDERS have started work on repairing a Felixstowe house which suffered a devastating roof fire.

BUILDERS have started work on repairing a Felixstowe house which suffered a devastating roof fire.

Scaffolding has been put up around the detached Edwardian property in Quilter Road, though the re-building work is expected to take several months.

The blaze caused extensive damage to the roof and the loft space, with most of the roof structure beyond repair at the rear of the property, ceilings down and timbers left charred.

The fire happened two weeks ago after house owners Ian and Justine Chesterman had left to take their children to school.

Neighbours spotted the smoke coming from the roof and immediately called the fire service.

Eight crews - more than 40 firefighters - tackled the incident in the three-storey property, restricting the flames to the roof space and managing to save the family's precious possessions.

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A neighbour said: “The family had to move out immediately after the fire because of the damage but it is good to see builders making a quick start to put things right.

“It is a lovely house and it will be great to see it all restored again.

“We heard it could take several months, possibly until the end of the summer to get all the work done and the redecoration complete.

“It was such a blessing though that no-one was in the house at the time.”

Assistant divisional officer Karl Rolfe said it had been a difficult fire to tackle because it was not easy to get into the roof space and as firefighters tried to get in ceilings were collapsing on them from the fire the other side.

Because of the overhead wires in the area, the turntable ladder could not be used either.

Do you want to praise the bravery of the fire fighters? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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