Two boys killed in horrific blaze

AN INVESTIGATION is under way after two boys, aged three and 11, were killed after becoming trapped in a blazing caravan.Firefighters and police were called to the fire at the West Meadows Caravan Park, in Bury Road, Ipswich, just before midnight on Saturday.

AN INVESTIGATION is under way after two boys, aged three and 11, were killed after becoming trapped in a blazing caravan.

Firefighters and police were called to the fire at the West Meadows Caravan Park, in Bury Road, Ipswich, just before midnight on Saturday.

But the flames had spread so quickly they could not save the two boys inside, who are believed to have been brothers. They were pronounced dead at the scene.

Speaking yesterday, assistant divisional officer for Suffolk Fire Service Geoff Pyke said the 20ft-long caravan, on a purpose built site for travellers, was well alight when they got there.


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He said: "On arrival we found a severe fire in a caravan and immediately deployed breathing apparatus teams and two hose reel jets to extinguish the blaze.

"We received information in the initial calls that there were people inside and when the fire was under control two victims were located who were both children."

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A spokesperson for Suffolk police confirmed: "Unfortunately two boys, believed to be aged 11 and three, who were in the caravan at the time of the fire died as a result."

Nobody else is thought to have been in the caravan when the blaze broke out.

Although the fire was out by 12.46am, emergency services remained on scene for several hours yesterday morning to start an investigation into its cause, which is not thought to be suspicious.

Mr Pyke added: "The construction of the caravan, in trying to maintain its lightness of weight, meant that the fire took hold very fast and although we were able to bring the blaze under control quickly we were unfortunately too late.

"We will now be conducting a full investigation together with Suffolk Constabulary to determine the cause, however we are not treating it as suspicious.

"At this stage we cannot ascertain whether a smoke alarm was in use and working but I can only take this opportunity to remind all domestic property owners, whether in static or mobile homes, of their value.

"I cannot over emphasise the importance of owning and maintaining a smoke alarm and recommend one on every floor level.

"It is also important to ensure that everyone within a property is aware of what to do in the event of a fire.

"We will be working with the community at West Meadows in the future to try and ensure that this type of tragedy never happens again."

The nine-and-a-half acre caravan site was built in the 1980s to provide a permanent home for Ipswich travellers with facilities that include hard standing areas, toilets and running water.

Mr Pyke continued: "There was no damage to any other properties because of the way that the site is designed. There is plenty of space between the caravans, which stopped the fire spreading further.

"Obviously our condolences and thoughts are with the family at this time. The crews are trained to deal with emergencies but no firefighter ever joins the service to recover a casualty from a fire.

"There was only one fatality in Suffolk due to a fire last year so incidents such as this are rare and we will be ensuring that we give crews the opportunity to be debriefed as to their actions through counselling. I think it is fair to say that they have all been exposed to a sense of grief and loss."

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