Neighbour rushes into house inferno

VIDEO A brave neighbour today told how he risked his life and tried to tackle a ferocious fire at a home in Ipswich.The 23-year-old man put aside fears for his own safety to check for trapped residents after the blaze broke out in the first floor of a house in Radcliffe Drive, Chantry, at 12.06pm.

A BRAVE neighbour today told how he risked his life and tried to tackle a ferocious fire at a home in Ipswich.

The 23-year-old man put aside fears for his own safety to check for trapped residents after the blaze broke out in the first floor of a house in Radcliffe Drive, Chantry, at 12.06pm.

But no-one was inside the home, where firefighters spent an hour tackling the blaze.

The family who lived there could be forced out of the property for a few weeks, a fire officer said.

The blaze caused extensive damage to the home although no-one was injured.

Matthew Peachey, who lives further down Radcliffe Drive, and who entered the property with another local person, said: “The smoke was too much - you could not breathe.

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“I could not see anything. I was in there for a couple of minutes.

“I was worried someone was in there and could see black smoke pouring out of a bedroom window.

“My girlfriend phoned the emergency services and adrenalin took over

“I got to the top of the stairs but I could not see anyone, and could not get any further, it felt like I was eating smoke and I started gagging and had cut my leg from the glass on the door.”

Twenty-five firefighters in four engines, a turntable ladder pump and police attended the blaze.

Ken Williamson, assistant divisional officer, said: “The fire began in a bedroom and has caused fairly extensive damage to the house.

“It was very fierce. The first crews there faced extremely hot conditions as a fire raged on the first floor.”

“There is fire and smoke damage to the entire first floor and it got into the roof as well. It won't be habitable for weeks.”

The residents of the home returned to Radcliffe Drive and sheltered in a neighbour's house while firefighters briefed them on what had happened.

A fire investigation has begun but ADO Williamson said it was too early to say what caused the fire.

He advised passers-by not to put themselves at risk by entering fires.

He also said that a working smoke alarm had attracted the attention of neighbours who dialled 999, allowing firefighters to get there soon after fire broke out.

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