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Investigation into derelict building blaze to take place

PUBLISHED: 13:01 27 November 2018

Fire fighters at the scene Picture: SAM DAWES

Fire fighters at the scene Picture: SAM DAWES

Archant

Suffolk firefighters are continuing their inspection of a derelict building that caught fire in the heart of Ipswich’s busy road network.

Fire fighters are at the scene Picture: NEIL PERRYFire fighters are at the scene Picture: NEIL PERRY

Seven engines were sent to the scene of a blazing fire in College Street on November 27 after reports of smoke filling the air near the Ipswich Novotel.

Emergency services were at the scene from around 3.30pm, finally extinguishing the last of the hotspots in the building around 8pm.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue confirmed this morning that a full investigation will take place once inspections of the building have concluded.

Speaking after the fire was contained, station commander Kevin Oxford said: “Crews were faced with a developing fire on the ground floor which was working its way up to the first and the second floor areas.

You can see the smoke behind the fire engines Picture: NEIL PERRYYou can see the smoke behind the fire engines Picture: NEIL PERRY

“Fire fighters started with a defensive operation because it is a derelict building and we had to consider it as unsafe at the time.

“We have worked with an aerial appliance from Essex to assist us with the inspection of the second floor and the roof space.”

The incident caused major congestion as rush-hour traffic was diverted through Ipswich’s one-way system.

Commander Oxford added: “It is too early to speculate how the fire started but we will be working with the owner, the police and other involved to establish the cause.”

Fire fighters are at the scene Picture: NEIL PERRYFire fighters are at the scene Picture: NEIL PERRY

The building on fire was once the offices of Burton, Son and Sanders, a confectionary manufacturer making sugar products which closed in 1993. The building has been empty since then.

The company was a major employer before closure, but since then that building - which is listed - has never been occupied despite a number of planning bids on it.

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