Update: Dereham home hit by “suspicious” blaze had been burgled
13:54 13 February 2013
Burglars who broke into a Dereham home in broad daylight started a fire in an upstairs bedroom that caused “extensive damage”, police believe
The alarm was only raised thanks to a quick-thinking postman who heard the fire alarm while delivering mail to the house in South Green, and phoned 999 before continuing with his round.
No one was in the building or injured when the fire started at about 1.20pm on Monday, February 11.
Michael Sparks said: “I just walked up to the property and heard the fire alarm going off and I just looked through the windows. My first impression was the blinds were drawn but then I realised it was smoke. I stepped back and saw it was in the whole house.
“I went around the side and saw a window had been broken and called the fire service and they were here within three to four minutes.”
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “It looked like the curtains were all shut upstairs but it was smoke. The smoke came out of the round window at the front. I could smell it.
“I think it was just getting going. It could have been horrendous if the postman had not been there. It could have been much worse.
“If the postman had not caught it and not made that phone call when he did, you would have seen that roof on fire.”
The smell of smoke hung in the air yesterday, and a badly-burned bed sat on the front lawn. The front door was boarded up.
Police described the fire as “suspicious” and made door-to-door inquiries, while CID and crime scene investigators were at the site.
Call police on 101 with any information.