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Crews tackle ‘suspicious’ house fire after receiving reports of an explosion

PUBLISHED: 17:18 29 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:18 29 November 2018

Emergency crews were called to a blaze in Allenby Road on Ipswich on Wednesday night  Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Emergency crews were called to a blaze in Allenby Road on Ipswich on Wednesday night Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Neighbours described seeing huge flames and thick smoke as fire crews battled a house blaze in Ipswich – after receiving reports of an explosion.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service are treating the fire as suspicous  Picture: ADAM HOWLETTSuffolk Fire and Rescue Service are treating the fire as suspicous Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

Emergency services were called to the scene of the fire, at the corner of Hadleigh Road and Allenby Road, at around 10pm on Wednesday after receiving reports of an explosion at the property.

Crews managed to quell the flames but remained on scene until around 1.30am the next day to make sure it was fully out.

The semi-detached house, which according to neighbours has been unoccupied for the past year, was completed gutted by the blaze.

Dirce Maoir, who lives opposite, said it was a frightening experience seeing the smoke billow from the building.

“It was quite scary – I have not seen anything like it,” she said.

“When I came out it was already a big fire.

“There was lots of smoke and big flames coming from the house.

“The fire brigade were here straight away, they were very good.”

Justin Hayward, 22, who also lives nearby, said there was hive of activity on Hadleigh Road as crews fought the fire.

“I didn’t really notice the fire at first, just a little bit of smoke coming from the house,” he said.

“But in a matter of minutes it went up.

“I couldn’t see the flames from here but the building was absolutely covered with smoke.

“It was like a fog around the building.

“The fire service were brilliant and kept us informed of what was happening.”

Another neighbour, who wished not to be named, said: “I would like to say how amazing the firefighters were, they were here so quickly.

“The ambulance service came and checked on us too.

“I can’t thank them enough.”

Phil Gleeson, station commander at Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We were called to reports of an explosion in the building and arrived to find a well developed fire on the ground floor.”

He said four firefighters 
entered the building with breathing gear while colleagues used hose reels to tackle the blaze from outside.

A police spokesman said the fire is now being investigated as suspicious.

A neighbouring building is also believed to have suffered smoke damage as a result of the blaze.

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