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Tower block fire inquiry continues

PUBLISHED: 15:01 21 August 2001 | UPDATED: 10:28 03 March 2010

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing today into the cause of a fire which tore through a tower block in the centre of Ipswich.

Police and fire officers are trying to rule out as many possible causes as they can to pin point what started the blaze on the seventh floor of St Francis Court early yesterday morning.

INVESTIGATIONS are continuing today into the cause of a fire which tore through a tower block in the centre of Ipswich.

Police and fire officers are trying to rule out as many possible causes as they can to pin point what started the blaze on the seventh floor of St Francis Court early yesterday morning.

Assistant Divisional Officer Karl Rolfe said: "There's a strong possibility that it is of suspicious origin and we're trying to rule out all accidental causes.

"We've got a bit more to tie up in terms of interviews and will hopefully speak to the relevant people today. Then that will hopefully give us the ability to state what was the cause of the fire."

Twelve fire engines and about 70 firefighters from across the county were called to the tower block shortly after 12.30am yesterday.

The building had to be evacuated and 23 people were rescued by fire crews. Seven of the residents were taken to Ipswich Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and ambulance crews treated a further 16 at the scene.

Firefighters had described the scene of the fire as being like an oven, with temperatures reaching 600C. Eight at a time went in to the building to rescue residents and deal with the smoke and flames.

No one had been in the seventh floor flat at the time of the blaze, which is the sixth fire at the block in five years and the third on that particular floor.

The clean up operation also continued today as workmen repaired the doors which had been kicked in by firefighters in their efforts to evacuate the building.

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