Fire engulfs flat above newsagents

Crews are at the scene of a flat fire in Halesworth Picture: SUZANNE PAINTING

Crews are at the scene of a flat fire in Halesworth Picture: SUZANNE PAINTING - Credit: Archant

Fire crews rushed to Halesworth yesterday after flats above the town’s newsagents were engulfed in flames.

Fire crews at the scene of the fire in Halesworth. Picture: AMY SMITH/ARCHANT

Fire crews at the scene of the fire in Halesworth. Picture: AMY SMITH/ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Crews received reports of the blaze, at a property in Chediston Street, close to the market place, at around 6.10pm.

According to a spokeswoman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, it is believed no one was in the property when the fire took hold.

Crews are at the scene of a flat fire in Halesworth. Picture Suzanne Painting

Crews are at the scene of a flat fire in Halesworth. Picture Suzanne Painting - Credit: Archant

It is believed to have started in the flats above DC Patrick newsagents and then spread to two adjacent buildings.

Firefighters called stop to the incident at 1.51am today but some still remain at the scene.

Smoke pours from the buildings Picture: MARK SYMONDS

Smoke pours from the buildings Picture: MARK SYMONDS - Credit: Archant


You may also want to watch:


Anthony Senior, 75, who lives nearby, said: “I was up in my living room watching the news and I started to smell smoke. “I looked out of the window and saw smoke everywhere.

“It was absolutely horrendous.

Fire crews at the scene of the fire in Halesworth Picture: AMY SMITH/ARCHANT

Fire crews at the scene of the fire in Halesworth Picture: AMY SMITH/ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Most Read

“There were flames shooting everywhere and I was worried it would spread to the buildings this side of the road because they are all listed buildings.”

A fire spokeswoman said five engines had attended the scene, including crews from Saxmundham, Halesworth, Bungay and Stradbroke, and that further fire crews were ready on standby.

Crews tackle the roof Picture: MARK SYMONDS

Crews tackle the roof Picture: MARK SYMONDS - Credit: Archant

Incident commander Paul Field, from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said crews expected to be at the scene through the night.

Mark Symonds said he was driving into town when he first saw the smoke.

Halesworth fire from above Picture: STEVEN FISK

Halesworth fire from above Picture: STEVEN FISK - Credit: Archant

“I think I arrived just before the peak of the fire,” he said.

“I saw plumes of smoke when I was coming into town.

Halesworth fire from above. Picture: Steven Fisk

Halesworth fire from above. Picture: Steven Fisk - Credit: Archant

“The fire had spread to the flats on the left hand side of the newsagents.

“There were flames coming out of the roof of the flat above.

Thick plumes of smoke could be seen miles away from the fire in Halesworth Picture: BEN HAMMOND

Thick plumes of smoke could be seen miles away from the fire in Halesworth Picture: BEN HAMMOND - Credit: Archant

“Firefighters had to smash the roof in to dampen down the area.

“There was smoke everywhere.”

Streets were sealed off as firefighters tackled the blaze in Halesworth. Picture: AMY SMITH/ARCHANT

Streets were sealed off as firefighters tackled the blaze in Halesworth. Picture: AMY SMITH/ARCHANT - Credit: Archant

Mr Symonds said the newsagents had been part of the town for years.

“It’s been there ever since I was a child,” he said.

Fire crews are on the scene of a fire in Halesworth Picture: JUDITH CONDON

Fire crews are on the scene of a fire in Halesworth Picture: JUDITH CONDON - Credit: Archant

“It has been here for years and years and is the last newsagents in the town.”

David Wardas, who owns the town’s fish and chip shop, said: “I have never seen anything like this.

Fire crews are on the scene of a fire in Halesworth Picture: JUDITH CONDON

Fire crews are on the scene of a fire in Halesworth Picture: JUDITH CONDON - Credit: Archant

“We all own old buildings and it could have happened to any one of us.”

He said an African grey Parrot that lives in the newsagents had been rescued from the fire.

Fire crews are on the scene of a fire in Halesworth Picture: JUDITH CONDON

Fire crews are on the scene of a fire in Halesworth Picture: JUDITH CONDON - Credit: Archant

All newspaper deliveries from DC Patrick will go on as normal.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter