Sudbury fire: Twenty people homeless and scene 'like a bombsite'

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Media captionThe fire is thought to have started in a nails salon on Sunday

About 20 people have been made homeless by a fire which affected 11 properties and five businesses in Sudbury, Suffolk.

One large Georgian building was destroyed in Sunday's blaze, which is thought to have begun in a nail bar.

Three people were taken to hospital with minor burns and smoke inhalation.

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge said: "It does look like those images from the war, when a bomb has landed on a building."

About 100 firefighters tackled the blaze on Market Hill after being called at about 18:25 BST.

Image copyright Suffolk County Council
Image caption About 100 firefighters tackled the blaze in Sudbury on Sunday
Image copyright Suffolk County Council
Image caption Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said it was an "incredibly challenging" fire

Station commander John Illingworth said the fire had spread quickly and the area was still "very dangerous" for firefighters and any members of the public.

"We've got areas of the timber building that are still burning," he said.

A mansion which was built in 1776 and housed the nail boutique and a charity shop was destroyed.

"Quite often in buildings of this age you've got common timber joists that run from one building to another," Mr Illingworth said. "To try and prevent further fire spread we're having to take parts down.

"An uncontrolled collapse could cause the whole lot to come down - the buildings either side."

Image copyright Suffolk County Council
Image caption Chief fire officer Mark Hardingham said blazes of this scale were "not a common occurence"
Image caption The Georgian building which housed two shops was destroyed in the fire

Christina Deke, who lives on the second floor of the building, climbed out of her window to be rescued by a firefighter.

"That was the only way out," she said. "I was prepared to jump if I had to, I could see it was getting bad. I was thinking anything could happen - it might even collapse and I will go down into the fire.

Image caption A firefighter used a ladder to rescue Christina Deke from her second floor flat
Image caption Resident Christina Deke said she was "very frightened"

"I could feel the heat coming up from the floor as well."

Babergh district councillor Simon Barrett said a helpdesk had been opened at the town hall for those left homeless.

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