Stray firework sparks garden blaze

A STRAY firework was to blame for a blaze which destroyed a set of garden furniture at an Ipswich home.

Tom Potter

A STRAY firework was to blame for a blaze which destroyed a set of garden furniture at an Ipswich home.

Neighbours rushed to dampen the flames in the early hours of New Years day as a celebratory rocket flew off course and landed in the Woodhatch's back garden.

As the flames rose over the fence, neighbours were alerted to the drama and as one threw buckets of water over the fire, another scaled the fence and used a garden hose to tackle the blaze.

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The fire was already out when the couple returned from their daughter's house, where they had been seeing in the New Year, thanks to the quick thinking of their neighbours in Sandpiper Road.

Paneer Woodhatch couldn't believe what she was seeing when she and her husband pulled up shortly before 1am yesterday to find fire crews outside their home.

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She said: "My heart just sank because I thought something had happened to the house.

"Nothing like this has ever happened to us but we can't blame anyone. Nobody did this on purpose. I just can't understand how a little thing like that caused so much damage"

Firefighters from Princes Street station were called to the house at 12.28am but their job had already been done for them by the Woodhatch's quick-thinking friends.

The fire wrecked a set of garden furniture after landing on a plastic tarpaulin which was laid on top to keep off the rain. A hedge also suffered fire damage but amazingly a car, parked next to the furniture, escaped without catching light.

Mrs Woodhatch, who thanked her neighbours and the fire service for everything they did in their absence, said: "That's our bad luck over now - it's been burnt away with the furniture and hopefully we'll have good luck for the rest of the year."

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