High street re-opens after blaze

A VILLAGE high street is open again today after it was sealed off when explosive gas canisters were found at the centre of a workshop blaze.

A VILLAGE high street is open again today after it was sealed off when explosive gas canisters were found at the centre of a workshop blaze.

The drama unfolded at 3.45pm yesterday when a fire broke out at Fordham and Sons garage, which is opposite the fire and police stations in the High Street, Ixworth, near Bury St Edmunds.

And villagers voiced their shock and frustration at the incident, which caused much of Ixworth to grind to a halt because of the size of the area sealed off.

Suffolk police said the exclusion zone around the fire, thought to involve both oxyacetylene tanks and cars, had been ordered by the fire service to protect the public.

Those affected included children stuck on buses, commuters unable to drive home and parents, who struggled to pick up their children from childminders or Ixworth Middle School.

The road was eventually reopened at about 7pm.

Most Read

Children on a bus trying to get back into Ixworth ended up spending about an hour beside a police cordon. Some of the children drew up signs which spelt “SOS” and placed them against the windows.

One of those unable to get home was Roger Bush. He criticised the emergency services for sealing off too wide an area.

“It is so ridiculous. I don't know why they've shut so much of the street off. It is all seems a bit of overkill if you ask me. I live half a mile away but I've not been able to get home. It has been boring, I've spent most of my time walking up and down the road or sitting in my car.”

But police said they had been given guidance over the scale of the cordon by fire officers. One of the police officers at the scene said: “We've been told if these canisters go off they really go off and we'd rather just make sure everybody was safe.”

Fire crews were called in from Ixworth, Elmswell and two from Bury. It is believed the building has been extensively damaged.