Fireballs threaten grandmother's home

A GRANDMOTHER today spoke of her horror after fireballs from a blazing 400-tonne straw-stack threatened to ignite her home.Crews from Ipswich and Felixstowe spent most of last night and a large part of today bringing the flames, in Morston Hall Lane, Trimley St Martin, under control.

A GRANDMOTHER today spoke of her horror after fireballs from a blazing 400-tonne straw-stack threatened to ignite her home.

Crews from Ipswich and Felixstowe spent most of last night and a large part of today bringing the flames, in Morston Hall Lane, Trimley St Martin, under control.

It was one of two suspicious fires reported within one mile of each other just before midnight yesterday. The other, which took two hours to douse, involved a small amount of hay in a field off the old A45 in Levington.

Alison Malcolm, of Morston Hall Lane, had two of her grandchildren, Lily, nine, and Henry, eight, staying with her last night.

She said the gusts of wind blowing towards them had put her home in jeopardy.

She said: "It was quite anxious for us because the wind was very strong and it was blowing large burning pieces of hay into our garden.

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"The firefighters were brilliant because they were standing out the back stamping them all out as soon as they landed.

"They were making sure nothing caught alight around the house, including our roof and the surrounding fields.

"I was woken by my neighbour and didn't sleep at all last night. The strong smell of smoke made it very difficult and the firefighters told us to stay awake."

Crews from Felixstowe tackled the blaze until 4am today, when they were replaced by firefighters from Princes Street and Colchester Road, Ipswich.

Dave Pedersen, assistant divisional officer of Suffolk Fire Service, said the most important thing was to prevent the flames spreading.

He said: "Once a stack as big as this gets alight there's little you can do to stop it. There were a lot of flying embers being blown down-wind towards the two houses and our priority was to protect them.

"We kept watch around the blaze to make sure it didn't spread anywhere else."

He added both fires appeared to be suspicious.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police confirmed they had attended both blazes last night and were investigating their cause.

Although the fire in Morston Hall Lane was ignited near to the Ipswich to Felixstowe railway line, the billowing smoke resulting from it did not delay services.

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