Alex Hurrell, Reporter
Monday, December 17, 2012
Police and fire investigators are probing the cause of a blaze in a north Norfolk bungalow where a body was discovered at the weekend.
The dead person is thought to have been a woman aged about 80.
Emergency services were called to the property, in Beeston Road, Sheringham, after reports of a fire on Saturday at about 4pm.
A police spokesman said yesterday: “A deceased person was found within the premises. Enquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of death.”
A spokesman for the East of England Ambulance Service Trust said they had been called just before 3.55pm.
She added: “Several resources were sent but then stood down once it was clear the patient, aged about 80 and who was in cardiac arrest - unconscious and not breathing - could not be saved.”
Neighbours in the quiet residential area all said the bungalow was the home of an elderly woman who did not mix with, or talk to, others and was rarely seen.
Investigators were at the scene of the tragedy yesterday and were expected to continue their enquiries today. The fire-damaged bungalow, at the junction of Beeston Road with Robertson Close, had been taped off and a police officer stood guard on the pavement outside all day.
Police carried out door-to-door enquiries in the neighbourhood on Saturday evening, asking residents if they had seen anything suspicious.
One woman, who did not want to be identified, told the EDP: “I heard a fire engine or ambulance but that was all. There was no sign of smoke but there was the most awful burning smell. It’s very sad.
“She never spoke to anybody or had anything to do with anybody round here. I think she bought the bungalow about two years ago.”
Another neighbour said he had seen an occasional taxi turn up and had supposed it was for the woman.
“The rest of the neighbours round here all know each other but, maybe because her property faced another way, none of us knew her. I was astounded when I heard what had happened.”
Another man said he had helped the woman move boxes into her bungalow from her previous address in Sheringham about two years ago.
But he had not got into conversation with her at the time and had not spoken to her since. She had lived alone but he thought she might have a daughter.
Fire crews from Sheringham, Cromer and Holt attended the fire, wearing breathing apparatus and using hosereel jets. They arrived at 4.02pm and a “stop” message was sent at 4.30pm. A thermal image camera was used to check for hot spots and a large ventilation fan was used to clear the building of smoke.
A fire service spokesman said yesterday: “We don’t know the cause of the fire at this stage.”