An elderly man has died in a fire which broke out in the kitchen of a cottage in a north Norfolk village.

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Fire engines were called to the home at Calthorpe near Aylsham at about 3pm on Monday.

Crews from Cromer, Aylsham, North Walsham and Sheringham wore breathing apparatus and used hose reels to tackle the blaze for about an hour. They got the man out of the building in The Street, but medical crews were unable to revive him. Ambulance and police were also at the scene.

Sgt Gary Hagg, from Norfolk Police, said the next of kin had not been informed yet and the age of the man was not yet known. Officers remained at the scene because the building was not secured. Investigators are now probing the cause of the fire.

Joy Hale, ambulance service spokesman, said: “We were updated by police at the scene that a person had been rescued from the building and was in cardiac arrest. Fire officers were performing CPR on the patient once he had been removed but unfortunately, despite everyone’s efforts, he was declared deceased at the scene.”

Joanne Wayling, landlady af the Erpingham Arms, in Eagle Road, Erpingham, said: “When I came home at 5.45pm I wondered what had happened. It was a surprise because there were lots of sirens and such like. All the emergency services were there.”

She said a lot of the customers at the pub had been talking about what had happened and had mentioned that they had seen a helicopter and fire engines in the village.

● Fire officials have also revealed that the cause of a fire, which severely damaged the downstairs of a Downham Market home, was a toaster which was accidentally switched on.

Crews from Downham Market, Outwell and King’s Lynn were sent to the property on Railway Road after the fire started at around 1.30am on Sunday. A male was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn suffering from smoke inhalation.

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