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Colchester: House fire may have been arson, say police

Working crews respond to emergency calls

Working crews respond to emergency calls

Archant

Police are treating a blaze in an unoccupied house in Colchester as suspicious

Firefighters were called to the semi-detached property in Mersea Road at around 4.58am this morning.

Five nearby properties were evacuated while fire fighters dealt with the blaze.

Crews wore breathing gear and used two hose reels to tackle the fire, which had already spread to 70% of the house when they arrived.

Two engines had been sent to the scene, but the attendance of an additional crew was requested shortly afterwards

The flames were out by 5.30am and a fan was used to clear the building of smoke.

Police are now appealing for information about the fire. A man was seen running into a nearby field shortly before flames were spotted coming from the property. He was wearing a black hooded top, carrying a ruck sack and was heard to speak with a northern accent.

Anyone with information is asked to call Dc Mark Peacock at Colchester CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Engineers worked through the night to restore power to households across Suffolk and north Essex after the region was battered by winds of over 70mph.

Commuters using Greater Anglia trains in Suffolk and Essex are facing further disruption after the region’s rail network was brought to its knees by yesterday’s storm.

The mother of a selfless Suffolk fundraiser is continuing her daughter’s fight to persuade women and girls to have smear tests in her honour.

An alliance of schools in Ipswich has won £20,000 of funding to boost the quality of teaching in the area through better use of research.

A car has rolled onto its roof following a single vehicle collision on the A12 at Copdock.

A well-known Elvis impersonator from Ipswich has died at the age of 57 following a short battle with cancer.

A Second World War hand grenade has been destroyed in a controlled explosion after being handed in at Felixstowe Police Station by a member of the public.

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