Lucky smoker survives sofa blaze

A SMOKER is today counting his luck after escaping from a fire in his Ipswich flat.Philip White, of Burlington Road, got out unharmed when burning cigarette embers set alight to his sofa while he slept on Saturday night.

A SMOKER is today counting his luck after escaping from a fire in his Ipswich flat.

Philip White, of Burlington Road, got out unharmed when burning cigarette embers set alight to his sofa while he slept on Saturday night.

The 41-year-old was only woken when fire fighters bundled into his flat and tackled the furniture blaze.

He said: "I've been really lucky.


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"I remember my cigarette falling down the side of the cushions but I picked what I thought was all of it up before going to bed.

"There must have been some burning embers left because the next thing I knew I woke up and it was all smokey and hazey and the firefighters were coming in."

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The fire happened at approximately midnight. Mr White says he went to bed between 11.30pm and midnight and the fire service received the 999 call at 12.05am.

It is the second Ipswich blaze within two weeks started by people failing to properly put out cigarettes before they fall asleep.

The living room of a house on Pimpernel Road was gutted by flames on July 31 as fire left a family of three needing treatment in hospital for smoke inhalation

The Mason family said a sofa bought from a door to door salesman was to blame for the quickness the flames spread after mother Marie Mason left her cigarette burning.

Their lives were spared thanks to a smoke alarm but Mr White's did not go off during the blaze at the weekend.

Mr White moved into the flat two months ago and is still in the process of decorating.

He said: "Luckily there wasn't much in the house to get ruined.

"A bit of the wall needs repainting and a rug I was using for a carpet is all wet but that's it other than the sofa.

"I don't think the sofa met national safety standards as it was years old but it was only meant for a stop gap while I settled in."

Have you ever had a lucky escape? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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