Man dies in house fire
A MIDDLE-aged man died in hospital last night following a house fire.The man, who is believed to be a businessman in his 50s, was discovered unconscious after firefighters broke into his semi-detached home in Orford Street, Ipswich, at 5.
By Danielle Nuttall
A MIDDLE-aged man died in hospital last night following a house fire.
The man, who is believed to be a businessman in his 50s, was discovered unconscious after firefighters broke into his semi-detached home in Orford Street, Ipswich, at 5.25pm.
He was taken by ambulance to Ipswich Hospital with serious injuries involving burns and smoke inhalation but later died.
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Officers initially received reports of a chimney fire at the property but on arrival found smoke billowing from all of the windows.
Divisional Officer Karl Rolfe, of Suffolk Fire Service, said: “We broke in and then realised through asking questions there was the potential for someone to be in.
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“We located the casualty very quickly. They had serious injuries and were taken to hospital by ambulance. He did not appear to be conscious when we got to him.
“The search of the house was a bit of a challenge as it was so heavily smoke logged. Smoke issued out of all the windows. The crews could not see anything.
“The fire we believe was on the ground floor but until the investigation, we cannot confirm. Potentially the fire had been going for some time.”
Four fire engines from Ipswich attended the scene and officers taped off the area surrounding the property.
Residents returning from work were told to use a different route to access their homes and many stood to watch the incident.
A police investigation was launched last night but Mr Rolfe said there was no reason to suspect any suspicious circumstances relating to the fire.
“There is no reason to suspect it's malicious but we will not rule anything out until and investigation is complete,” he added.
The damage to the property is not thought to be severe and neighbouring properties were not affected.
Last night Shaun Desilva, landlord of the Brewers Arms in Orford Street, said: “He was a nice person, friendly. It's distressing. It's not the usual atmosphere tonight of a Friday night.
“The first I heard was a fire engine pulling up outside the pub. I popped my head out of the door and could see smoke coming out of the house and I didn't think they lit fires in that house.
“The neighbour came home from work and saw smoke coming from the chimney. He heard the smoke alarm going off and called the fire brigade.
“We were told to stand back and I sent somebody down the Hare and Hounds to see if he was in the pub. We presumed he was in the house.”