Fifty firefighters tackle house blaze near Norwich’s Newmarket Road

A quiet, leafy road in an affluent area of Norwich became a hub of activity this morning after a family home went up in flames.

The fire broke out at the house in Fairfield Road, between Ipswich Road and Newmarket Road, at about 1am today (Monday).

Eight fire engines were sent to the scene where the roof of the property was well alight when firefighters arrived.

No one was in the house, believed to have been built 20 years ago, at the time.

Station manager Joe Warns said: 'Initially we thought there was someone in the property and made an effort to search the premises but we are now happy there was no one inside.

'The unsafe roof structure made fire fighting complicated and we also had restricted access as the property is down a narrow lane and we had to source water from a hydrant.'

Firefighters are still at the property damping down. Police officers are also at the scene. The cause of the fire is not yet known. An investigation into the incident will get under way later this morning.

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Hilary Talbot, who lives across the road, said: 'I woke up at about 1am and heard the crackling of the fire. I looked out of the window and the flames were above the trees.

'I called 999 straightaway and it was only about four or five minutes before the first two fire engines arrived. I went down on the road and everything was completely quiet except for this roaring and crackling of the fire.

'It was unbelievable - it wasn't just a bit of the house on fire, the whole thing seemed to be ablaze. It's so lucky that no one was in the house.'

Did you see the blaze? Have you got an photos? Call reporter Kate Scotter on 01603 772326 or email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk.

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