Cannabis plants removed from roof blaze house in Ipswich
17:04 18 February 2017
Bags of cannabis plants have been removed from the scene of a house fire in Ipswich as the chief firefighter on the scene confirms no one was in building at the time of the blaze.
Station commander Jon Southgate called off the search for the ‘unaccounted for’ resident at around 1.45pm today after a thorough search of the building.
An elderly neighbour, an 89-year-old woman, remains at Ipswich Hospital as her family look to work with social services to find her a suitable place to stay.
Her daughter, who wished not to be named, said the fire had left her mother ‘homeless’.
“She is alright now. She had a panic attack sitting here watching it all fall in.
“The paramedics came and she was assessed.
“She was pretty weak, they have been ever so good to her.
“I lived here as a little girl and my mother has lived in this house for 52 years.
“But she is homeless now.”
Station commander Southgate said: “It was approximately 1.45pm when we moved the final debris in the roof and we were satisfied there was no one there.
“That also enabled us to switch our attention to fire investigation and it appears to be an electrical fault.
“There are a couple of sources, we have taken away some samples to examine more closely.
“The building is stable, we have removed a lot of the debris in the roof space.
“Whilst there is a further risk of some items falling the building itself is stable. “But the lady who lives next door will not be able to come back though.”
He added: “The sad thing with this is criminal activity has now jeopardised the life of the next door neighbour. “Not only do drugs cause misery but has upset a vulnerable elderly person.”
Brown smoke could be seen billowing out of the roof as the fire, reported at 11.55am and put out at 4.45pm yesterday, tore through it.
Police closed the road to traffic between Woodbridge Road and Rushmere Road for several hours, putting a cordon in place at each end.
A number of police units remained at the scene throughout the day.
At the time of the blaze one witness said: “Within 50ft of the house you can smell the smoke and feel the heat of the fire. You can see flames underneath the tiles.”
UK Power Networks’ engineers switched off power to every home in the road to allow firefighters to safely tackle the blaze.