Neighbours flee after flat fire

FIRE swept through a second floor flat in Ipswich today causing neighbours to flee as the block became full of thick black smoke.The flat, in Birkfield Drive, has now been reduced to an empty blackened shell and the lingering smell of acrid smoke still hangs in the air.

FIRE swept through a second floor flat in Ipswich today causing neighbours to flee as the block became full of thick black smoke.

The flat, in Birkfield Drive, has now been reduced to an empty blackened shell and the lingering smell of acrid smoke still hangs in the air.

Outside bags of fire and smoke damaged clothes and others items lie on the grass.

Fire crews were called at around 10am to the flat after the occupant had tried in vain to dampen the flames.

Two appliances from Princes Street and one from headquarters in Colchester Road went to the scene.

James Turner, who has lived in the flat for around 12 months, said he was in the kitchen when he realised something was wrong.

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"I saw smoke begin to fill the room and soon it became over powering. I got about four buckets of water but it did not really help and the smoke was spreading.

"I got out and then could not get back in to help people next door. But they were helped out and got down by ladder. I have lost a lot of my mum's things which cannot be replaced.

"I am absolutely gutted as I have only just finished redecorating and now I am homeless. I have no where to go."

Mr Turner said he thought the fire had started in the airing cupboard where he had recently had a new electricity meter fitted, although the fire service has not established the exact cause yet.