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Felixstowe: Landlady’s son rescues three in blaze drama

06:00 30 November 2012

Damage caused by the fire to outbuildings at The Feathers pub in High Street, Felixstowe,

Damage caused by the fire to outbuildings at The Feathers pub in High Street, Felixstowe,

Archant

A LANDLADY’S son today told how he kicked bedroom doors in to wake up and rescue three people living above a pub that was on fire.

Paul Smith, 36, raced to his mum’s pub The Feathers in Walton Street, Felixstowe, after local resident Ashley Dunningham, 26, of Queen Street, spotted the flames, rang the fire service and then alerted the family.

“The smoke was awful,” said Mr Smith.

“They were sound asleep upstairs so I ran up and shouted but couldn’t wake them, so I kicked the door in and shouted, ‘Get out – the building’s on fire!’”

Landlady Kim Whitman, who took over the pub as tenant about four months ago, said that when she undid the pub door the back-draught from the fire nearly knocked her over.

“It was like something out of a film – this real blast that knocked me backwards. It was quite frightening,” she said.

“I just want to thank Ashley for ringing the fire service and coming round and getting us up.

“The damage could have been huge if the fire service hadn’t got here so quickly.”

Despite the fire, the pub was back open for business as normal by lunchtime.

Three fire crews battled the blaze – believed to have been caused by an electrical fault – which began in outbuildings at the rear of the property around 12.06am yesterday.

Damage was caused to the outside of the kitchen but not inside, and wrecked two outbuildings, used for storage, and their contents. Fire crews left the scene at 1am.

The Feathers is said to be Walton’s oldest pub – the building dating from the late 16th century, with additions to the front made in 1900, with records showing it has been in use as a pub since 1712.

At one time fairs used to be held on its forecourt and its yard stretched right down Cage Lane, where a cattle market was held.

A spokesman for Suffolk police said officers had been made aware of the incident but did not attend.

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