Kesgrave: Family salvage possessions after devastating blaze rips through bungalow

KESGRAVE: A family are today desperately trying to salvage some of their belongings after a devastating fire tore through their home.

Firefighters tried to save what possessions they could from the chalet bungalow in Holly Road but feared even those saved from smoke damage would be ruined by the volume of water crews levelled at the flames.

The family – understood to be a couple with a 21-year-old son – fled the property before alerting neighbours to the quickly developing blaze just after 6pm yesterday.

When four crews of firefighters from Ipswich and one from Woodbridge arrived at the scene, the flames had fully taken hold. Noel Bowyer, who lives next door, said his neighbour came to warn him of the blaze shortly after it was discovered.

“He came round shouting that his house was on fire,” he recalled. “He was warning us in case it spread. There was not much I could do but make sure everyone was alright.

“There was very thick smoke coming from the top window. Had it happened during the night, it could have been a tragedy. It’s a beautiful house ruined.”

Paul Whinney, another neighbour, said: “I came out to see what was happening and ran around to see if anyone had called for help.

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“When I got out there, it was just a small fire in the roof – then it really took hold and went berserk. It quickly became a really vicious fire.

“The smoke was extremely dense and coming from the window like a jet. It was so intense. The flames were well above the top of the roof.

“I heard a few bangs but I think they were the roof tiles exploding with heat.

“The son looked pretty shocked. He hadn’t even time to put his shoes on.

“The important thing is that everyone was safe.”

Incident commander Simon Hurst said firefighters wore breathing gear and used hose reels and a water jet to extinguish the flames. He added: “We do not yet know the cause of the fire but will be carrying out an investigation and talking to the owners.

“It was a severe fire in an upstairs bedroom which also affected the roof. It was well developed on arrival and the flames could be seen from the Heath petrol station.

“We confirmed everyone was out of the building and concentrated on extinguishing the fire, which was in the roof space so we had to strip the tiles away and checks the voids.

“There was quite severe damage to the top floor and water damage downstairs but we have salvaged as many items as we could.”

At 7.36pm the fire was completely extinguished a crews set about rescue what possessions they could from the ground floor and removing debris from first floor and loft area.

n Do you want to offer any words of support for the family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail

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