Couple apply to renovate fire damaged house in Dereham

A Dereham couple who spent 21 years renovating their home are seeking planning consent to correct the devastating damage caused by a fire.

Paul Gunton was forced to jump from a first-floor window when fire broke out at the family home in Baxter Row last October.

He and his wife Dawn lost all their possessions, and the entire grade II-listed property suffered heat or smoke damage when the blaze spread from a downstairs cupboard to the lounge, bedrooms, landing, stairs, loft and dining room.

Parts of Ottaway House, which is boarded-up, are up to 200 years old; it is one of the original properties still remaining in Baxter Row.

Now, Mrs Gunton is seeking listed building consent for 25 repair works, including replacement windows, ceilings and fittings, a new bathroom and a new staircase. The entire house will also need to be redecorated, a report supporting the application states.

Unable to get downstairs, Mr Gunton threw his six-year-old bearded collie, called Cooper, out of the window to a passer-by before leaping to safety himself.

The proposed project may take between six months and a year. Breckland Council is expected to make a decision on the application by mid-March.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter