Ipswich: Elderly couple’s terror as “roaring inferno” leaves them trapped in home

AN elderly couple have told of the terrifying moment a “roaring inferno” took hold of a canopy outside their front door – leaving them trapped inside their home.

Jean Dighton and Emin Scotchmer, of Stubbs Close, faced an agonising 30-minute wait to be rescued from the property as firefighters tackled the blaze on Monday.

The incident destroyed furniture and equipment underneath the canopy, which is joined to the house, but the couple’s home was not badly damaged in the incident.

Mr Scotchmer, 70, said: “I was sitting watching the TV and looked toward the door and saw an orange light.

“I thought someone had a firework outside – when I opened the door it was a roaring inferno.

“I just thought what the devil? How did that start? I just wanted to make sure we could get the fire engines up there.”

Three fire crews from Ipswich were scrambled to the fire at about 8.45pm on Monday – police and the ambulance service were also sent to the home.

Most Read

Firefighters brought the blaze under control by 9.15pm and they were then able to enter the house and rescue Mr Scotchmer and Mrs Dighton.

It is currently unclear what caused the blaze.

Mrs Dighton, 74, said: “I was frightened. I’m still in shock, I can’t settle down.”

The couple were treated for smoke inhalation by paramedics but they were not sent to hospital and decided to spend Monday night at their home.

Mr Scotchmer said he felt safe in the house as he paid tribute to the emergency services and neighbours for their help.

He said: “We would like to thank everybody who helped us.

“The fire brigade, the ambulance people and the police were all very good.

“Our neighbours and people we didn’t even know were coming up and making sure we were alright.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said the fire involved some rubbish. It is expected that there will be an investigation into the incident.

? How have the emergency services helped you? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or send an e-mail to starletters@archant.co.uk

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