The man who died in a north Norfolk house fire on Monday was believed to be in his 80s.

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Firefighters from Cromer, Aylsham, North Walsham and Sheringham, paramedic cars and an ambulance were called to The Street at about 3pm.

The East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) was called at 3.19pm and landed in a field 200 yards away from the old brick and flint cottage, near A J Cooper Builders.

A spokesman in the Norfolk police control room last night said the man was in his mid 80s.

Diana Jakubowska, head of communications for the EAAA, confirmed that the man who died suffered a heart attack during the fire, which broke out in the kitchen.

She said firefighters dragged him out of the house and EAAA paramedics attempted to resuscitate him but he died at the scene.

“It was very good joint work between the fire crews and land ambulance,” Mrs Jakubowska added.

The air ambulance left the village at 4.15pm and firefighters tackled the blaze for about an hour.

A Norfolk police spokesman said yesterday: “Investigations are ongoing to establish the cause which, at this time, remains unexplained. A cordon remains in place on the property as enquiries between the fire service and police continue.”

Joy Hale, ambulance service spokesman, confirmed on Monday: “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.”

A neighbour said three fire engines were at the house by 3.15pm and the area was cordoned off by 3.45pm.

She said: “I never saw anything. It was all a bit of a surprise.”

Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, was driving home at 4pm when he saw the air ambulance in the field near Erpingham bridge.

He said: “There was lots of traffic backing up and the man in the car in front said there had been an accident.”

Many people in the village said they saw the air ambulance but had not seen any flames or smoke from the house.

Joanne Wayling, landlady at 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 on Monday and had mentioned that they had seen a helicopter and fire engines in the village.

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