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Devastating house fire now being treated as arson

PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:55 11 June 2019

Fire crews and police attend the scene of a house fire in Radcliffe Road, Ipswich. The blaze is now being treated as suspected arson  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Fire crews and police attend the scene of a house fire in Radcliffe Road, Ipswich. The blaze is now being treated as suspected arson Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

A major fire which completely destroyed an Ipswich house and left two families homeless is now being treated as arson, according to police.

Fire crews and police attend the scene of a house fire in Radcliffe Road, Ipswich  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFire crews and police attend the scene of a house fire in Radcliffe Road, Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The blaze ravaged a semi-detached house in Radcliffe Drive early on Thursday, June 6, leaving the family of five who live at the address without a home.

The fire also caused extensive damage to the adjoining property, leaving the family next door homeless for the foreseeable future.

The blaze was reported to have started around 3am and neighbours were woken by screams of the family, who were trying to escape the flames.

The mother and her three young children fortunately managed to escape the blaze, which gutted the ground floor, second floor and the attic space of the property, by climbing out of windows onto a flat roof.

Fire crews and police attend the scene of a house fire in Radcliffe Road, Ipswich  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNFire crews and police attend the scene of a house fire in Radcliffe Road, Ipswich Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

They were unharmed but taken to hospital as a precaution.

A man who also lived in the house was believed to be at work at the time.

MORE: Officers continue to investigate the cause of a huge fire

The incident is now being treated as suspected arson and Suffolk Constabulary is re-appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward. Speaking last week, Rosie Miller-Clark, who lives in Radcliffe Drive, close to the house, said she was woken by the screams of her neighbours.

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"I sleep in the back of our house and I heard her scream: 'Help, help help. I need help the house is on fire,'" she said.

"When I came outside the mum was on the flat roof of the house.

"She had jumped from the loft window and we had to run and get a ladder as she was stuck on there.

"All of the kids managed to get out, I think one of them had to jump out of the window as well."

MORE: Neighbours tell of family's frantic escape from burning home

More than £1,800 has since been raised through a GoFundMe page set up for the family following the devastating blaze.

The Kingfisher pub in Hawthorn Drive also acted as a storage point for any clothes and essentials donated to the family.

Landlady Penny Youngs-Debanam decided to open the pub for donations after seeing news coverage of the fire.

Officers are appealing for witnesses or anybody who saw any suspicious activity to contact them.

Anyone with information, dash-cam or mobile phone footage is asked to contact Ipswich CID on 101, quoting reference 32201/19, or by providing an online update via the constabulary website. www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/existing-report-update

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111, or via the online form on their website.

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