Man arrested over flat fire drama

POLICE yesterday arrested a man in connection with a fire which saw eight people evacuated from a block of flats in west Suffolk. The fire in St Olaves Road, Bury St Edmunds, broke out at 1.

POLICE have arrested a man in connection with a fire which saw eight people evacuated from a block of flats in west Suffolk.

The fire in St Olaves Road, Bury St Edmunds, broke out at 1.30am on Sunday, in the kitchen of a first floor flat.

Three fire engines from Bury fire station were sent following an anonymous call and, without any information on the occupants, crews proceeded as if someone was trapped inside.

Neighbour Diane Allen, 38, said: “I was in bed when I heard a lot of firemen shouting on the stairs.


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“They said everyone needed to get out. It was scary because I had been sleeping with ear plugs and could have been oblivious.”

Outside Mrs Allen was joined by two other families from neighbouring flats including John Brown, 31, with his son, 11, daughter, 8, and nephew, 5.

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Mr Brown said: “I was very shocked when I realised what was going on.

“I heard the firemen on the stairs and so I went to investigate. I saw them take a hose up and then I was told to get out as a precaution.

“When I woke the children up they were still very tired. The whole thing was very worrying particularly when you have young children staying.”

The families were kept out of the building for half an hour before crews gave the all clear to return. The flat where the fire started was empty but it received heavy smoke damage.

Assistant Divisional Officer John Illingworth, of Suffolk Fire Service, said: “It was reported as a fire but there wasn't much information.

“So we searched the flat while fire fighting but it quickly became apparent there was no one there.

“We have met with police this morning and currently we are still investigating the fire.”

A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “The fire in St Olaves Road is being treated as arson and a 35-year-old local man has been arrested in connection with the incident.”

Fire investigators have yet to determine the cause of the fire which is believed to have started in the kitchen. Nobody was hurt in the incident.

Fire crews used one hose reel and two breathing apparatus to put the fire out and the all clear was given at 2am.

The arrested man - a 35-year-old from Bury - was released on bail to return to Bury St Edmunds police station on May 10.

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