'Overwhelming' support to help families affected by Ipswich flats blaze
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Donations have flooded in to help families affected by the blaze at a block of flats in Ipswich which left residents put up in temporary accommodation.
A total of 20 fire engines from across Suffolk and Essex were called to the fire, which broke out in a fourth-floor flat in Yeoman Close, on Monday afternoon.
Crew members remained on the scene until shortly before 4am on Tuesday.
Newtide Homes, which manages the property, confirmed all residents living in the block were safe and temporary accommodation had been arranged for those who had been left displaced.
An inspection of the building has taken place but a cause of the blaze is yet to be confirmed by Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service.
Sam Greenacre, managing director of Newtide Homes, said: "We have visited Yeoman Close to carry out an inspection. However, as we haven’t been able to gain access to all properties yet, it is too early to tell what repairs are needed.
"We will do what we can to get our tenants back safely in their homes as soon as possible."
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Michelle Symonds, Ipswich project coordinator at Suffolk Baby Bank, revealed neighbours were offering to donate goods to help the affected families over Monday night.
She said: "We've had a massive hit this morning. We've had food, baby items, clothes - people have been dropping everything off. There's been about 50 offers so far.
"We've had people get in touch with us and we're trying to contact the families affected.
"It's just been overwhelming. People were sending messages at midnight - it's brilliant."
Carole Jones, Ipswich Borough Council's portfolio holder for planning and Westgate councillor, said she was meeting with the owner of a nearby flats complex in response to Monday's blaze.
She said: "The council is being kept informed by the fire service. Obviously, there is real concern when there's a fire.
"It's a huge relief that no one was injured - it would have been really alarming.
"I've got concern for the residents and I'm in touch with the authorities that may assist us."
Ipswich MP Tom Hunt said: "Obviously I was very pleased that everyone was accounted for. The first thing I want to make clear is that I'm happy to help.
"It was very distressing and I'm just pleased there doesn't appear to be any injuries."