Fuse box fire ignites gas pipe

RESIDENTS today lost power to their homes after an electric fuse box burst into flames and ignited a gas pipe in an Ipswich street.The explosion, which causing flames to reach 12-feet into the air, happened in Ashcroft Road at around 7am.

RESIDENTS today lost power to their homes after an electric fuse box burst into flames and ignited a gas pipe in an Ipswich street.

The explosion, which caused flames to reach 12-feet into the air, happened in Ashcroft Road at around 7am.

Firefighters tackled the blaze for around an hour while much of the road was cordoned off by community police officers and some residents were not allowed to return to their houses.

Kenneth Love, of Ashcroft Road, said: “There was an explosion. I was getting out of bed and I looked out of the window and saw the flames shooting up.

“I thought it was a car fire. The power went off in my house, but I was able to turn the trip switch back on.”

Stephanie Van Rosse, of Transco gas company, said: “There was a short out in an electricity fuse box which caused a fire and ignited a gas pipe nearby.”

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How the fire in the fuse box caused the gas to ignite was today being investigated.

She added: “We had to wait for the electricity supply to be made safe before we could do repairs. Gas suppliers in the area should not be affected at all.”

A spokeswoman for EDF Energy, whose fuse box exploded, said: “A fault on a piece of underground equipment interrupted power supplies to some customers in Ashcroft Road just after 7am today. Power supplies to a further 100 customers were interrupted at 8.30am so that repairs can be carried out safely.

“EDF Energy engineers are currently working on site to restore power as soon as possible. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

British Telecom initially thought it may have been one of their boxes and stayed at the scene because the fire was close to some of their equipment.

A JCB digger was also at the scene to carry out any repairs from the accident.

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