Police probe arson after flat evacuation

RESIDENTS of an Ipswich block of flats were today forced to flee their homes after a "suspicious" fire spread through the hallway of their flats.Police are today investigating after the fire took hold at around 3.

RESIDENTS of an Ipswich block of flats were today forced to flee their homes after a "suspicious" fire spread through the hallway of their flats.

Police are today investigating after the fire took hold at around 3.25am in the Birkfield Drive block of eight flats, forcing residents to leave their homes and face the freezing cold of a November morning.

One man was rescued from his flat by firefighters after the fire spread to his front door, on the second floor of the flats.

The trapped man alerted the fire brigade himself but did not require hospital treatment and was said to be "unharmed".

However, the residents of the flats were evacuated from their flats for two hours, leaving them huddling around outside from 3.30am until 5.30am.

Around six of the residents, including one baby, were shivered in the cold the cold while RAF teams from three Green Goddess battled with the fire.

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Lucy Davies, 77, who has been living in her flat for 26 years, said: "A lady from upstairs came down and knocked on everybody's door to get them up. At first I shouted and asked who it was, but as soon as I knew it was a fire I grabbed my dog, Twinkle, and got out quickly.

"I was wearing my dressing gown and slippers. I felt so ill and I didn't know what to do. It was freezing cold."

Residents were today being prevented from returning the first and second floors of the flats while an investigation into the cause of the fire is undertaken. This was expected to be completed by the afternoon.

Police confirmed they are treating the cause of the fire as "suspicious".

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