Town furniture store is hit by fire outbreak yet again

IPSWICH: Police are investigating the cause of a large blaze in an Ipswich furniture store, which left it badly damaged.

The fire broke out in an unoccupied flat behind the Eastenders furniture store in Norwich Road at around 6.25pm yesterday evening.

Nearby residents heroically hauled sofas and chairs out of the building to stop them getting damaged as smoke spread from the flat and down into the store.

David Kibblewhite, who lives next door to the shop, said: “I came out of my flat and I could see smoke coming out of the window of the flat next door.

“I went round to the back window and could see it had been smashed. It looked like someone had broken in.

“There were bright flames roaring away inside so I called the fire brigade.

“Before they arrived I rounded up some neighbours and we moved as much furniture as we could out of the building.

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“But when the firemen arrived they told us to get out of there as we were putting ourselves in danger – I wasn’t going to argue.

“It’s hard to say how much damage will be caused – there was a lot of smoke billowing out so it could be pretty bad.”

Debbie Lamb, a store assistant at the shop, said: “I’m absolutely gobsmacked. This isn’t the first time we’ve had a fire here. I’m devastated. We’ll have to see how bad the damage is when the smoke clears.

“When I heard that there was a fire I rushed straight down here. I’m still struggling to take in what has happened.”

Two fire engines attended the blaze and used one hose reel jet to fight the flames. The fire was extinguished by 6.46pm.

An investigation was due to be carried out by police and fire crews this morning to attempt to establish the cause of the blaze.

n.Have you been affected by a fire? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail