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“We heard the glass crack” – Young family escape major house fire in Sudbury

PUBLISHED: 19:58 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 19:58 03 September 2018

The four-story home was blackened by the blaze Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

The four-story home was blackened by the blaze Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

Archant

Neighbours have spoken of their shock after a young family escaped a blaze which blackened their Sudbury home.

The fire crew commander said all items inside the property had been blackened by the flames Picture: AMY GIBBONSThe fire crew commander said all items inside the property had been blackened by the flames Picture: AMY GIBBONS

Firefighters from both Suffolk and Essex were called to a property on Cats Lane shortly before 9am today, where crews tackled a serious fire which had affected a family home.

People living nearby looked on in horror as their homes were evacuated, while thick black smoke billowed from broken windows which had been blown out by the heat.

The crew commander at the scene said the blaze was thought to have started in the kitchen of the four-story property, and quickly spread through open doors and up the stairwell into the bedrooms. A mother and daughter were inside at the time.

Fortunately, the woman was alerted to the danger by the smoke alarm – and the pair, plus the family dog, were able to evacuate the property safely.

The crew commander said: “The fire started on the first floor, and rapidly spread to the second floor, up towards the third floor [causing] extensive heat and smoke damage.

“Crews managed to bring the fire under control rather rapidly, and prevent the fire spreading to the neighbouring properties.”

He added that neighbouring terraced houses had suffered very slight smoke damage.

A woman who lives next door to the property, who did not wish to be named, said neighbours were evacuated from their homes.

Windows were blackened and broken by the heat Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYWindows were blackened and broken by the heat Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

“I just got a knock at the door,” she said. “We all just got out. [There was] lots of black smoke – we were worried.”

Peter Smith, 83, who has lived in a house opposite the property since 1955, was out cutting the grass when he noticed the blaze.

He said he had never seen a fire like it in the 63 years he had lived on Cats Lane.

“That is the first fire I have known up here,” he added.

Children's bicycles were left outside the affected property Picture: NEIL DIDSBURYChildren's bicycles were left outside the affected property Picture: NEIL DIDSBURY

“All the black smoke was at the rear of the building. We heard the glass crack – we could smell the smoke. I saw them on the ladders breaking the windows.”

The crew commander at the scene stressed the importance of installing and checking smoke alarms in every property.

He added that it was important to keep doors shut to prevent any potential blazes from spreading.

Police were called to help with traffic management as large sections of Cats Lane were closed due to the fire. A stop was called on the incident at 10.15am.

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