Man rescued in fire drama
AN OFF-DUTY fireman rescued a 66-year-old man last night as fire tore through a mid-terrace property.The blaze broke out at a house in Grimwade Street shortly after 7.
By Danielle Nuttall
AN OFF-DUTY fireman rescued a 66-year-old man last night as fire tore through a mid-terrace property.
The blaze broke out at a house in Grimwade Street shortly after 7.30pm and sent thick black smoke billowing into the sky.
Off-duty firefighters and county councillor Peter Monk spotted the smoke while travelling through the area and contacted the fire service.
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Before fire engines arrived, an off-duty fireman rescued a 66-year-old man from the next door property by kicking the door down.
He was seen by paramedics at the scene but later released. The owner of the property was also uninjured.
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Police officers arrested a man at the scene on suspicion of arson.
Fire chiefs are not ruling out the possibility the fire was ignited maliciously, but are exploring all avenues.
Martyn Thorpe, community safety manager, said: "There were some off-duty firefighters and councillor Peter Monk in the vicinity at the time and they were made aware of smoke issuing out of a property in Grimwade Street. One person was already out of the house.
"They kicked the door off and off-duty firefighters rescued a 66-year-old man. He was not injured.
"We can pinpoint the area of origin which centres on the front room. Investigations are continuing around that area.
"The property has been severely damaged by fire. Neighbouring properties have been heavily smoke logged. When you get smoke so dense and hot it can combust."
Four fire engines from Ipswich tackled the fire, which caused severe damage to both the ground and first floor of the property and the houses on either side.
The downstairs window and a large part of the brickwork had collapsed due to the heat and charred furniture and belongings were piled outside on the pavement.
Mr Thorpe said the cause was still being investigated but said one of many possibilities being looked at was that of a discarded cigarette being involved.
The fire service is backing a national campaign called Put It Out Put it Right Out aimed at warning people about the dangers of discarded cigarettes in the home.
"The last two fire deaths in Suffolk have both been caused by discard cigarettes," he added.