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Investigation due to start today into cause of Ipswich high rise fire at Cumberland Towers

PUBLISHED: 22:09 24 November 2017 | UPDATED: 07:51 25 November 2017

Aerial images of emergency services tackling a fire in a sixth floor flat at Cumberland Tower, Ipswich. Picture: SKY CAM EAST

Aerial images of emergency services tackling a fire in a sixth floor flat at Cumberland Tower, Ipswich. Picture: SKY CAM EAST

Archant (permission to use from Sky Cam East but MUST be credited)

Investigations were due to start today into a blaze which broke out in a high rise block of flats in Ipswich, last night.

Fire crews tackle a blaze on the sixth floor of Cumberland Towers in Ipswich. Picture: EMILY TOWNSENDFire crews tackle a blaze on the sixth floor of Cumberland Towers in Ipswich. Picture: EMILY TOWNSEND

Two people were injured in the blaze, which started on the sixth floor of Cumberland Towers, in Norwich Road, shortly after 6.30pm yesterday, with one suffering burns and bruises and the other person inhaling too much smoke.

Dozens of firefighters were on the scene within minutes, with several people praising the rapid response of emergency crews.

Ten fire engines from Ipswich East, Princes Street, Colchester, Woodbridge, Holbrook and Felixstowe were called to help after a fire alarm sounded at around 6.37pm.

Inspector Richard Gubbins, at Suffolk police, said that investigations were to be carried out into the cause of the blaze today and that police were working with the fire service to establish the circumstances being the fire.

Ipswich MP Sandy Martin praised the prompt and efficient attendance of the Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and said: “It was excellent and it’s testament to the speed and efficiency of the service,”

And he said it was essential that work to fit sprinklers in the building was a priority.

“I understand that work on that is due to start as soon as possible but I would like to make sure that we get sprinklers in all multi storey buildings. If people are living in them they need to know that they will be safe.”

Incident commander Wil Tel of Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “It’s a small fire, we’ve got it contained, we’ve had two people with minor injuries who are being looked after by the ambulance trust and nearby hospitals.

Aerial images of emergency services tackling a fire in a sixth floor flat at Cumberland Tower, Ipswich. Picture: SKY CAM EASTAerial images of emergency services tackling a fire in a sixth floor flat at Cumberland Tower, Ipswich. Picture: SKY CAM EAST

“What’s been really fortunate is we’ve had a number of training exercises here recently.

“We arrived within five minutes of getting the call. I think because we’ve done quite a lot of training at the site here, we were able to deploy our resources quickly.”

He added: “The real challenge with these is obviously because of the height it takes a lot of resources. We evacuated other flats as a precaution but the fire was contained to one flat due to our quick response.

“We do exercises continually on a regular basis but obviously events in London at Grenfell focused the minds.

“What I would say to people is make sure you have a working smoke detector, and make sure that you have a fire safety home plan in place.

“At the moment we don’t know what the cause is, there will be a full investigation that we are hoping to conclude either tonight or tomorrow.”

Evacuated residents returned to their flats by approximately 10pm.

Westgate ward councillors Colin Kreidewolf and Julian Gibbs also praised the quick response of emergency crews.

Aerial images of emergency services tackling a fire in a sixth floor flat at Cumberland Towers, Ipswich. Picture: SKY CAM EASTAerial images of emergency services tackling a fire in a sixth floor flat at Cumberland Towers, Ipswich. Picture: SKY CAM EAST

Council officers were also at the scene supporting people who live inside the flats.

A mother and daughter who live nearby said: “It’s pretty scary seeing all the emergency services out here especially so many of them. I’ve never seen so many here before.

“We could smell fire on the way back from town, as far away as Primark. It’s frightening when it’s right over the road.”

They added: “Everybody’s got Grenfell in their minds haven’t they. They ripped a whole window out, there was smoke coming out of the windows.”

Stay with us for updates on this developing news story as soon as we receive more information from the emergency services.

Aerial images of emergency services tackling a fire in a sixth floor flat at Cumberland Tower, Ipswich. Picture: SKY CAM EAST

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