Guinea pigs killed in shed fire

FIVE guinea pigs were killed as a blaze swept through gardens after youngsters playing with a lighter accidentally set straw on fire.Thirteen-year-old Ryan Parker had just put his guinea pigs to bed in their hutch in the garden of his home in Maidstone Road, Walton, Felixstowe, when the incident happened.

By Richard Cornwell

FIVE guinea pigs were killed as a blaze swept through gardens after youngsters playing with a lighter accidentally set straw on fire.

Thirteen-year-old Ryan Parker had just put his guinea pigs to bed in their hutch in the garden of his home in Maidstone Road, Walton, Felixstowe, when the incident happened.

His father Derek Parker said: “It was just a dreadful accident.

“My son had just put the guinea pigs to bed and was down the garden with some friends and they were playing with a lighter.

“We had some straw down there and it just caught and went - everything happened so quickly.

Most Read

“The shed caught alight and the flames spread to next door's shed and although the fire service came very quickly, in two or three minutes it was just all gone.”

The two sheds were razed to the ground and this morning little was left except the charred remains.

The fire spread to three gardens in all, but firefighters managed to stop it going any further.

It also slightly damaged the shed of the Opportunity Playgroup for special needs children in the grounds of Orwell High School but firefighters managed to save the group's bikes.

It took 30 minutes to put out the fire - which started around 8.30pm last night - and ensure it would not flare up again in any of the gardens.

Mr Parker said: “The guinea pigs were all dead, which was horrible and a real shame. The garden is now a real mess and there is a lot of clearing up to do, but at least no-one was hurt.”

A spokesman for Felixstowe's fire crews warned people to be especially careful when using lighters and matches because accidents could happen so easily.

He also urged people not leave flammable items inside their garden sheds, such as paints, gas bottles and fuels.

Did you see the fire or were you affected by it? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter