‘There were five almighty bangs’ - Terrified families evacuated from homes in Halesworth as fire spreads
- Credit: Archant
A mother-of-two has described the terrifying moment the garden of her Halesworth home was turned into an inferno.
Barbara King said she was woken in the early hours of this morning by several loud explosions coming from behind her property on Churchill Road.
As the 50-year-old went to investigate, she described seeing her hedge and shed engulfed in flames.
'There were five almighty bangs and as I got up to see what it was, I could just see red raw flames in the garden,' Mrs King said.
'I was panicking because it was moving so quickly and I really thought it was going to burn the house down.'
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The fire service was called shortly after 4am and families living nearby had to be evacuated from their homes.
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said the blaze was believed to have been caused by a bonfire which had re-ignited in the garden of a property on Old Station Road.
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It is understood that a number of nearby gas canisters then caught fire and exploded.
Mrs King, who was at home on her own at the time, said the blaze had caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, adding that it destroyed her garden shed and hedgerow.
But she believed it could have been much worse had she not heard the explosions.
'If we had not heard the bangs, and had not woken up, we would have all gone up,' she said 'It does not bear thinking about.'
As the fire took hold, Mrs King said neighbours rushed over to help, with one using a garden hose to try and put it out.
Three fire engines were called to the Suffolk market town at 4.10am, and several houses were evacuated.
Mrs King said her thoughts then turned to her cat Tom, which had gone missing in the drama.
'He normally sleeps under the shed and I was concerned because I could not find him,' she added.
'But thankfully, after the fire engines had gone he came back in.'
Neighbours living on the estate praised the quick response from the fire service.
A 34-year-old mother-of-two, who lives on Old Station Road, said neighbours had also gone around knocking on each others' doors to ensure everyone was out.
A police spokesman the incident was not being treated as suspicious.