Care home fire ‘started by smoker’

AN investigation is being carried out into a fire at a sheltered housing complex that is thought to have been started by a resident who was smoking.

The blaze broke out at Farnish House in chapel Lane, Botesdale, near Diss, at about 9.45pm on Wednesday night and one resident suffered a hand injury.

Smoke damage was caused to part of the complex, which comprises 21 self-contained one-bedroom flats, and all residents were evacuated as the fire was dealt with.

Farnish House is owned and managed by Mid Suffolk District Council and has a warden on duty for 7.5 hours a day and a care alarm system operates on a 24-hour basis.

A council spokesman said: “It’s not as big an incident as people first thought. As we understand it, there is some relatively minor smoke damage in one of the corridors and some damage to a carpet, and obviously we will fix that.

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“In terms of residents, they were evacuated by the fire service and one gentleman has got a minor injury to his hand that was treated quickly.

“All the residents are back in and we haven’t had to accommodate them anywhere else. In terms of the cause of the fire, our understanding is that it was caused by one of the residents who was smoking.

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“The fire service and the care home management will investigate that further.”

Fire crews from Diss and Eye attended the scene at about 9.45pm on Wednesday evening and upon arrival they requested support from more appliances.

Crews from Diss and Ixworth were sent to the property and firefighters using hose reel jets and breathing equipment extinguished the flames by 10.45pm. The East of England Ambulance Service also attended and treated the man with the injured hand.

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