Suffolk

The George pub in Wickham Market, Suffolk damaged by fire

The George, Wickham Market
Image caption The pub is on the High Street near the junction with Chapel Lane

A fire that caused extensive damage to a Suffolk pub is being treated as suspicious, firefighters have said.

The blaze broke out at The George, in High Street, Wickham Market, at about 02:30 BST.

John Parnell, the pub's landlord, was the only person inside and was able to escape out of the bathroom window on to a flat roof below.

A fire service spokesman said a joint investigation with the police would begin later.

Mr Parnell said: "There was a massive explosion that shook my bed. There was smoke everywhere and I climbed out of the bathroom window on to the roof, out the back and managed to get out.

Image caption Wickham Market's High Street was closed-off as fire crews dealt with the blaze

"Thank God I was the only one here because if the wife had been here she would have just panicked.

'Sea of flames'

"I couldn't believe how quickly this took hold and I'm still shaking."

Station Commander Will Tell, from Suffolk Fire Service, said: "The cause of the fire is being treated as suspicious and we are working with the police to do a joint investigation.

"The whole roof was a sea of flames and there was fire punching out of the first floor and ground floor.

"The structure is unstable and both gable ends are unsafe."

Five fire engines and two specialist appliances fought the blaze at its height.

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