Ipswich: Fire rips through alley, sending flames shooting into the air

IPSWICH: A homeowner has been left devastated after a second fire at his house in less than a year left him with smoke damage and destroyed his granddaughters’ play area.

A massive blaze with flames reaching 30 feet into the sky erupted in an alleyway at the side of Doug Smy’s house in Landseer Road, at a popular cut-through for the shops in nearby Reynolds Road at around 10am yesterday.

The fire ripped through two cars and a small car transporter truck parked in the alleyway as well as burning through the fences of the surrounding properties and destroying Mr Smy’s garden shed, where his granddaughters’ play equipment was stored along with hundreds of pounds of gardening tools.

This comes just a few months after a fire damaged the other side of Mr Smy’s semi-detached house in August last year.

The 52-year-old said: “We’re devastated. We have only recently got over another fire next door.

“I’m so glad the firemen came down quite quickly, otherwise it could have been a lot worse.

“My son came running down the stairs and said he could see black smoke so we just all got out, and we saw it had spread into a couple of vehicles.”

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Residents of four nearby houses were evacuated as three fire crews, two police cars and two ambulances called as a precaution dealt with the incident.

Landseer Road was closed off for around an hour while firefighters battled the flames engulfing the vehicles.

Station manager Richard Wood said: “There has been some quite extensive damage – the three vehicles are very badly damaged and smoke has got into some of the properties.

“It was initially feared tha gas cylinders might have been involved but that was quickly discounted, and we’re satisfied that there weren’t any gas cylinders involved.

“We are investigating the cause.”

Eyewitnesses reported that one of the cars appeared to be on top of the transporter, causing the flames to reach higher than the two-storey house.

Heidi Jay, 17, lives in nearby Fletcher Road and came out when she heard the fire engines.

“We went round and saw a truck with a car on the back of it and they were both on fire,” she said. “The flames were bigger than the house – probably 30 to 40 feet.”

n Have you been rescued by firefighters? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.