Update: Family “devastated” after Little Plumstead house fire in which dog killed

The house, left, at Little Plumstead where a fire caused extensive damage in the kitchen. Picture: Denise Bradley The house, left, at Little Plumstead where a fire caused extensive damage in the kitchen. Picture: Denise Bradley

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
10:14 PM

Relatives of a family of five whose pet dog was killed in a house fire have thanked firefighters, police and the Red Cross for their “fantastic” response to the devastating blaze.

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Tomorrow should be a happy occasion for the family from Morris Drive, Little Plumstead, near Salhouse, north of Norwich, with one of the three children celebrating their fifth birthday.

But instead they will be trying to come to terms with a fire which in which they have lost presents and their six-year-old dog which has been with them since it was a puppy.

The alarm was raised by a neighbour who heard the smoke alarms sounding and alerted the fire brigade with crews from Carrow, Earlham and Wroxham attending the property just after 2.30pm today where they were confronted by billowing smoke.

At its height 16 firefighters helped tackle the blaze which broke out while the three children - five, seven and three - and their parents were out.

The pet family dog, believed to be aged six, was recovered from the property but died.

The children’s grandmother, 50, who did not want to be named, said the fire was “devastating” for the family who had worked so hard to “try to make a nice life for the children” but have now lost so much, including the family pet.

She said it was fortunate the family, who have had to be moved to temporary accommodation, were not in at the time or that it did not happen at a night as the children’s parents bedroom is directly above the kitchen where the fire started.

She said: “It just all happened so quickly and was in the kitchen. We don’t know what it was at the moment and won’t do until fire investigators have finished.”

She added: “The firefighters have been fantastic, the police have been fantastic and the Red Cross have been fantastic.”

The fire and emergency support service (FESS) is provided by British Red Cross volunteers using a specially adapted vehicle housed at Sprowston fire station in Norwich and provides provides practical help and emotional support to people affected by a domestic fire or similar incident.

Station manager Scott Norman, from Carrow, said: “There was a well-developed fire in the kitchen. At this stage we’ve got no idea what caused it. An investigation will continue.

“It was a quick and professional response by the fire service which prevented it from spreading further through the house.”

Mr Norman, who confirmed the alarm was raised by a neighbour who heard the smoke alarm, said the job was an important reminder that working smoke detectors save lives.

Station manager Brian Walshe, from Hethersett, who is also a fire investigator, said: “The fire originated in the kitchen but we’re unable to determine the cause and we will be back in the morning to investigate further.”

• Appliances from Earlham, Sprowston and Hethersett sent to report of a fire in a building on Gristock Place, near Knowland Grove, off Dereham Road at just before 5.05pm today where a person was believed to be inside the building.

The fire was extinguished before the brigade arrived but they used a thermal image camera to check. No-one was inside the building.

Would you like to thank the fire service for coming to your rescue? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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