Woman, 52, charged with arson after fire which caused evacuation of flats in Birkfield Drive, Ipswich

The scene of the fire in Birkfield Drive

The scene of the fire in Birkfield Drive

A 52-year-old woman has been charged with arson with intent to endanger life after a blaze in a block of flats on Ipswich’s Chantry estate.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service received a number of reports about the fire in Birkfield Drive at around 12.40pm on July 27.

Around 30 firefighters were despatched to the scene amid fears people were trapped in the property.

Following a police investigation lasting nearly four months Selina Sadler, of no fixed address, is now to appear before South East Suffolk Magistrates Court accused of arson.

Sadler’s first appearance on the charge is scheduled to take place on December 1.

The Birkfield Drive flats had to be evacuated as a result of the fire.

Emergency services were alerted after smoke and flames were seen billowing from a top floor flat.

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Two crews from Princes Street were initially sent to the fire. However, four more crews were then despatched when it was believed people were still inside the premises.

By 1.10pm firefighters confirmed that everyone had been accounted for.

The fire was said to be out shortly before 2.20pm, although two crews remained at the location during the afternoon to continue damping down.

A police cordon was set up as an inquiry into the cause of the blaze began.

Shortly afterwards officers said a woman had been arrested in relation to the incident.

After being interviewed, the suspect was released on bail pending further enquiries.

Confirming a charge had now been brought Charlotte Parker, a spokeswoman for Suffolk Constabulary, said: “A woman has been charged with arson with intent following a fire at a flat on Birkfield Drive in Ipswich on 27 July.

“Selina Sadler, 52, who currently has no fixed address, will appear before Ipswich magistrates on December 1.”

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