Hero cops stop arson threat man

TWO heroic police officers averted a potential blaze tragedy today after an Ipswich man doused himself with petrol and threatened to set himself alight.

TWO heroic police officers averted a potential blaze tragedy today after an Ipswich man doused himself with petrol and threatened to set himself alight.

The situation unfolded in Bloomfield Street, California, at around 12.20am today when a distraught 27-year-old man turned up at his ex-partner's home and began banging on the door.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said armed response officers equipped with non-lethal baton guns were called to the scene as the drama unfolded.

The frantic man, who was stood outside his ex-partner's home, had doused both himself and a car parked just feet away from the home in petrol and was holding a petrol can in his hand.

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The spokesman said: “He was holding a cigarette lighter and threatening to incinerate himself.

“He would not communicate with anybody and wanted the female to watch himself be set alight.

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“He was very abusive and aggressive towards the officers.”

By 12.35am police negotiators had been drafted in to speak to the man while officers had managed to evacuate his ex-partner and her young child from the home.

The spokesman said two officers tackled the man at around 12.50am and pepper spray was used by officers to drag him to the ground.

The spokesman said: “The officers very bravely intervened and he was physically detained.

“There was a chance the situation could have gone very wrong.

“It was a very brave act by the officers.”

Firefighters were also called to the scene to deal with petrol on the street while an ambulance crew was on standby at the end of the road.

A 27-year-old Ipswich man has been arrested on suspicion of attempted arson with intent to endanger life. Police were continuing to question the man today.

N Did you witness the incident? Contact The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk

NEIGHBOURS in an Ipswich street today relived the horror as they woke up to the aftermath of the drama.

Several residents in Bloomfield Street were awoken by the man shouting at around 12.20am today.

One resident, who wanted to stay anonymous, said: “He was very upset.

“They haven't lived there very long, a couple of months or so and I have not seen him or her about so didn't recognise him.

“But his shouting woke me up and as I looked out of my window I could see he had a red petrol can and was pouring the contents over himself.

“He was hitting the car and when police officers tried to stop him he shouted 'It's my car, I can do what I like to it'.

Another neighbour said: “A massive police van was parked right outside my house and I think there were other police cars in the street too.

“There was definitely a fire engine in the street but that came after the police.

“There was a strong smell of petrol which I could smell from my house.”

Other neighbours reported police officers attempting to use pepper spray on the man before he was taken away in the police van.

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