Ipswich: Explosions at workshop rock nearby homes

I THOUGHT the world was coming to an end. That’s how one eyewitness has described the moment a terrifying explosion and fireball ripped through a workshop in Belstead.

That’s how one eyewitness has described the moment a terrifying explosion and fireball ripped through a workshop in Belstead.

Seven fire crews were sent to Grove Hill in the early hours of Saturday morning after more than 45 people called Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service reporting a fire and several explosions.

Eyewitness Hayley Debenham, of Grove Hill, said she thought “the world was coming to an end”.

“I woke up at about 1.30am and thought we were being attacked to be honest,” she added.

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“There were a few bangs to start with but then they got a bit more regular.

“I looked out of the window and the sky was bright orange and thought Ipswich was under attack.”

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Mrs Debenham said dozens of concerned neighbours spilled out on to the street to find out what the commotion was.

“There were loads of flashing lights pass the house.

“It was pretty scary,” she said.

Neighbour Rhian Lovell said her husband, Brian, woke up because he thought someone was burgling them.

“Brian got up and walked through the house but didn’t find anything, and then there were another three or four bangs.

“But we didn’t think any more of it until the morning when we found out what happened.”

Leyla Edwards, who lives in Belstead Hill, Ipswich, said there was a loud bang and a huge cloud of orange erupted into the sky.

“It reminded me of those disaster movies with a mushroom effect fireball explosion.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The flames were just massive and just engulfed the building”

Several people living nearby reported their houses shook as the explosion destroyed the workshop just before 1.20am.

A Suffolk Fire and Rescue spokesman said: “The fire involved a building used as a workshop which had been 100 per cent involved in fire.

“Crews used two ground monitors and two jets with water supplemented from appliances carrying out a water relay from nearby hydrants and open water sources.”

The explosion left devastation in its wake with debris and gas canisters strewn around the scene. The fire is not being treated as suspicious but it is not known at this stage what caused the explosion.

The owner of the workshop did not wish to comment.

n Did you see the explosion and want to tell us your experience? Call the Star newsdesk on 01473 324790 or e-mail starnews@ archant.co.uk

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