Couple flee blaze after explosion

A WOMAN had to rush her wheelchair-bound husband out of their house after a large fire engulfed a flat following an explosion.

A WOMAN had to rush her wheelchair-bound husband out of their house after a large fire engulfed a flat following an explosion.

Firefighters were called to a flat in Cornwall Road, Felixstowe, at about 7am yesterday.

The flat was part of a block of 20 and all residents had to be evacuated. A man was arrested in connection with the fire, which the fire service said was suspicious.

Karen Long, 47, lives below the flat which caught fire with her wheelchair-bound husband Jed. “I was doing my exercises at about 6.50am and there was this hell of a bang. I just came running out on the phone to the fire service and this black smoke was billowing out, obviously I had to get my husband out.

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“I was just trying to ring everybody and get hold of the neighbours but trying to get my husband out at the same time.”

Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, added: “I just heard the bang and the next minute I heard the fire engines coming along. We got a call that we had to get out of the flats. It was scary and I was worried. There was lots of smoke coming out of the flat.”

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A man who was inside the flat was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation by paramedics and later arrested by police. He is currently being held at Felixstowe police station.

Three fire crews remained at the scene and battled the blaze.

Geoff Pyke, assistant divisional officer, said: “On arrival fire crews were confronted with a well-developed fire. Because of the nature of the flats here the smoke detectors activated with one of the residents able to raise the alarm to the fire service. We cannot overstress the importance of homeowners having working smoke detectors on every level of their dwelling. This fire happened at dawn but if it had of happened in the early hours of the morning there could have been a lot more risk for the residents.”

The fire resulted in considerable fire damage in the bedroom and the lounge of the flat with severe smoke damage to the rest of the property.

A spokeswoman from Suffolk police said the investigation was in its very early stages and no further details of the man arrested could be given.

But she said the man was inside the flat at the time of the fire. It is not believed anyone else was hurt in the incident.

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