Fire engulfs flat above newsagents
PUBLISHED: 10:52 12 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:59 12 June 2018
Fire crews rushed to Halesworth yesterday after flats above the town's newsagents were engulfed in flames.
Crews received reports of the blaze, at a property in Chediston Street, close to the market place, at around 6.10pm.
According to a spokeswoman for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, it is believed no one was in the property when the fire took hold.
It is believed to have started in the flats above DC Patrick newsagents and then spread to two adjacent buildings.
Firefighters called stop to the incident at 1.51am today but some still remain at the scene.
Anthony Senior, 75, who lives nearby, said: “I was up in my living room watching the news and I started to smell smoke. “I looked out of the window and saw smoke everywhere.
“It was absolutely horrendous.
“There were flames shooting everywhere and I was worried it would spread to the buildings this side of the road because they are all listed buildings.”
A fire spokeswoman said five engines had attended the scene, including crews from Saxmundham, Halesworth, Bungay and Stradbroke, and that further fire crews were ready on standby.
Incident commander Paul Field, from Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said crews expected to be at the scene through the night.
Mark Symonds said he was driving into town when he first saw the smoke.
“I think I arrived just before the peak of the fire,” he said.
“I saw plumes of smoke when I was coming into town.
“The fire had spread to the flats on the left hand side of the newsagents.
“There were flames coming out of the roof of the flat above.
“Firefighters had to smash the roof in to dampen down the area.
“There was smoke everywhere.”
Mr Symonds said the newsagents had been part of the town for years.
“It’s been there ever since I was a child,” he said.
“It has been here for years and years and is the last newsagents in the town.”
David Wardas, who owns the town’s fish and chip shop, said: “I have never seen anything like this.
“We all own old buildings and it could have happened to any one of us.”
He said an African grey Parrot that lives in the newsagents had been rescued from the fire.
All newspaper deliveries from DC Patrick will go on as normal.