Villagers evacuated after explosion fear

A group of north Suffolk villagers evacuated from their homes after a major fire last night may not be allowed to return for another 24 hours.

A group of north Suffolk villagers evacuated from their homes after a major fire last night may not be allowed to return for another 24 hours.

The fire broke out at Grimes Garage in Henstead near Kessingland at 8.45pm, quickly spreading to an area containing an acetylene cylinder, creating a high risk of explosion.

Fire crews from Beccles and Southwold attended the scene and managed to put out the flames, but were quickly withdrawn to a safe distance to monitor the situation.

Last night Suffolk Police organised the evacuation of ten homes in the village setting up a 200m exclusion zone around the area.

Today, pupils were turned away from The Old School, which is also inside the exclusion zone.

Assistant Divisional Fire Officer, Mark Labdon, said: “For us an acetylene cylinder is as dangerous as it gets; we consider it to be like an unexploded bomb.”