Residents left temporarily without homes after flat fire on Friday

Renato Yamane, 40 lives in the building with his wife, Juanicia Castelli.

Renato Yamane, 40 lives in the building with his wife, Juanicia Castelli. They have had to vacate their home while the building is closed for inspection. - Credit: Renato Yamane / Archant

Residents evacuated from a flat fire in Ipswich town centre have been put in temporary accommodation over the weekend. 

More than a dozen fire engines were sent to the Focus Apartments building in Ipswich in Carr Street, in the early afternoon on Friday, May 6. 

A joint emergency planning unit from Suffolk County Council has been working to help provide temporary accommodation to residents who may need it.

Renato Yamane, 40, lives in the building with his wife, Juanicia Castelli, 44, who are among those that have stayed in a hotel. 

The couple said they and others were notified on Friday evening that water and power had been cut off and instructed to take essential materials and seek temporary accommodation for the weekend.

Renato Yamane, 40 lives in the building with his wife, Juanicia Castelli.

Renato Yamane, 40 lives in the building with his wife, Juanicia Castelli. They say they are relieved that no damage has been made to the floor on which they live. - Credit: Renato Yamane

A fire broke out at an apartment complex in Ipswich

A fire broke out at an apartment complex in Ipswich on Friday. - Credit: Rod Bennett

He said they are relieved that the fire has not damaged the floor they live on and praised those involved for handling the "chaos".

He said: “Because the building is closed for inspection, at least until Monday, we are in a hotel. 

“It was not a good experience, but there is good news. The firewall worked, the doors did keep the fire only in the flat, the alarm worked, the firefighters arrived really fast."

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Juanicia had heard the fire alarm go off at about midday but had initially thought it was a test. 

After a while, she started to smell smoke and evacuated the building.

Her husband added: “In this case, only one flat has been fully damaged. The whole building will be inspected but looks like everything is fine.  

“For those people frequently complaining about EWS1 (regulation about the cladding), we should consider the regulations are designed thinking on "safety is number one priority".  

“[Without] rules about firewall, self-extinguish materials, etc, probably the whole building would have been consumed by the fire.” 

The flats in Carr Street where the blaze broke out

The flats in Carr Street where the blaze broke out - Credit: Archant

More than a dozen fire engines were called to the scene.

More than a dozen fire engines were called to the scene. - Credit: Archant

A spokesperson for Suffolk County Council said: “Our thoughts are with all those impacted by Friday’s fire in Carr Street, Ipswich, and our Joint Emergency Planning Unit continues to work closely with partners to help provide temporary accommodation to any residents who may need it.” 

Councillor Rob Bridgeman for Bridge division has praised the swift response of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.  

He said: “As with all good fire services, they were there swiftly. The major thing is, there was no loss of life.” 

More than a dozen engines from Ipswich East, Woodbridge, Stowmarket, Princes Street, Felixstowe, Needham Market, Hadleigh and Haverhill fire stations were dispatched to the scene on Friday. 

UK Powerworks engineers have also visited the site. A spokesperson said: "UK Power Networks engineers attended an address at Carr Street, Ipswich on Friday 6th May after a request from the emergency services. Following an inspection, no action was required by our staff.” 

The cause of the fire has not yet been revealed.