Martlesham arsonists hunted

ARSONISTS are today being hunted following a spate of undergrowth fires ignited in Martlesham Heath.Crews were called back to the area today after one of three blazes last night began smouldering again.

ARSONISTS are today being hunted following a spate of undergrowth fires ignited in Martlesham Heath.

Crews were called back to the area today after one of three blazes last night began smouldering again.

The arsons occurred at Heath Lane, Parkers Place, and The Square in the space of just 90 minutes yesterday evening.

In total there were four fires over the weekend in Martlesham.

Nobody was injured, but sub officer Jim Golder of Suffolk Fire Service said homes were put at risk by the culprits.

“Whoever is doing this is obviously not aware of what they could cause,” Sub officer Golder said. “The fires grow into massive blazes very quickly.

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“One of the fires came close to nearby houses and residents were very concerned because the flames were 20 to 30 feet high and the smoke was drifting across their homes.

“There could be a more serious incident going on elsewhere such as a road accident and these fires are taking cover away.

“The fires also endanger nearby houses.

“If there is a good wind there is a chance the flames could push across to the fencing and start threatening houses.

“We have had a number of fires on the heath just recently and it is probably children setting light to them,” he added.

The first of the three blazes took hold in undergrowth off Heath Lane at around 6.37pm.

The blaze, covering an area of around 500 square metres, spread near the Martlesham Heath control tower and destroyed an electrical box which powers the sewage system at the Martlesham Heath control tower.

It was put out by crews from Ipswich and Woodbridge.

The second fire, extinguished by the same crews, took hold at nearby Parkers Place at around 7.15pm and measured around 100 square metres.

Then at 7.54pm a single engine from Woodbridge was called to The Square where around 50 square metres of undergrowth was smouldering.

A crew from Ipswich was called again to Heath Lane at around 7.30am today after Sunday night's blaze began smouldering again.

On Saturday at 6.15pm 100 square metres of gorse ignited in Manor Road.

Dramatic pictures of the blaze were taken by Evening Star reader Gary Fuller. He said: “Police were present to control the safety of everyone. The only real panic was the wind was blowing the flames towards the nearby gardens of the houses surrounding the green.”

Police are investigating the fires. Anyone with information is asked to contact Woodbridge police on 01473 613500.

N Did you witness the fires? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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