Elderly woman killed in house fire

POLICE were today carrying out investigations in a shocked community where a pensioner was killed after fire ravaged her home.

The blaze took hold in the lounge of a bungalow in Larkhill Way, off Grange Farm Avenue, Felixstowe, at about 10.10pm last night.

Firefighters first on the scene arrived to discover a “well-developed” fire. They entered the property and found a body inside.

A woman believed to be aged between 70 and 80 was declared dead at the scene, according to an ambulance service spokesman.

This morning property was cordoned off with a uniformed police officer standing outside, while other officers interviewed neighbours, investigating reports that a group of youngsters were seen near the bungalow just before the fire started.

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The incident has left the tight-knit community at Grange Farm, behind Christ Church and the Morrisons store, in shock.

One resident, who asked not to be named, said: “It is just too awful to think about.

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“Everyone is very upset. It’s horrible.”

One eyewitness, who lives across the road in Garden Field, said it had been an “horrendous” sight.

“It was awful, absolutely horrendous, I just couldn’t believe it,” he said.

“There were a group of kids hanging around, about nine of them, and then all of a sudden something happened and the house went up.

“It has blown out the windows and melted the window frames. The windows of the house next door are completely blackened by the fire.

“I am really shocked. You read about this kind of thing but never expect it to happen on your doorstep.”

Karl Rolfe, group manager for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said an investigation was now under way to establish the cause of the blaze.

He said: “The first crew arrived to a well-developed fire and unfortunately located a casualty within the property.

“This was a serious fire which has damaged the property quite badly.

“At the moment we are working at the scene with fire investigation officers and scenes of crime officers from Suffolk police to establish the cause.

“At the moment there is no reason to suspect the fire was started deliberately, it appears the most likely situation is this was an accidental fire.”

A police spokeswoman said: “At this stage, as is standard procedure, the death is being treated as unexplained and officers will be working with fire investigators to establish what happened.”

Two crews from Felixstowe fire station and one from Ipswich were involved in tackling the flames, which were brought under control by about 11pm.

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