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Town centre house evacuated as off-duty nurse and man escape blaze

PUBLISHED: 11:08 03 June 2020 | UPDATED: 15:38 03 June 2020

Damage after the fire at a property behind Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Aaron McMillian

Damage after the fire at a property behind Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Aaron McMillian

Archant

Town centre properties had to be evacuated after a two-storey house was ravaged by fire.

Damage after the fire at a property behind Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Aaron McMillianDamage after the fire at a property behind Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Aaron McMillian

The blaze broke out at a two-storey home behind Taylor’s cafe in Fakenham just before 4pm on Tuesday, June 2.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue sent six fire crews were called in to battle the blaze, which gutted the house but left the cafe and surrounding buildings with little damage - although the cafe was filled with smoke.

Cafe owner Taylor James, 42, was at the venue yesterday when the fire broke out.

When he saw the smoke, he called out to the man who lives in the house, who is in his 80s, to get out.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue was called to an incident in Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Dalton StuartNorfolk Fire and Rescue was called to an incident in Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Dalton Stuart

He said: “It was pretty scary. I’ve never seen a fire like that before.

“I didn’t see the flames but I saw smoke in the windows, popping and cracking.”

Mr Taylor said the man was able to leave the house safely and was now staying with family.

Mr Taylor said someone else had to bang on the door of a nurse, who also lives close by, to get her to leave. Mr Taylor said he had heard the nurse was sleeping when the fire broke out, having returned home from a night shift.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue was called to an incident in Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Dalton StuartNorfolk Fire and Rescue was called to an incident in Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Dalton Stuart

Dalton Stuart, who lives nearby, said he was watching television with his partner at home when he smelled burning plastic.

Mr Stuart said: “First I checked the house, worried it was something of ours burning.

“I stopped my search when I saw and heard police cars and fire engines down the road.

“I stepped outside and was immediately greeted with plumes of smoke.”

Norfolk Fire and Rescue was called to an incident in Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Dalton StuartNorfolk Fire and Rescue was called to an incident in Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Dalton Stuart

Mr Stuart said smoke was blowing about “left, right and centre”.

He added: “Lots of people living close and next the building were evacuated for safety.

“All that were involved did an amazing job and should be proud of them selves and I was glad to hear that no one was hurt.”

A Fire and Rescue spokesman said the crews who responded came from Fakenham, Massingham, Wells and King’s Lynn stations.

Damage after the fire at a property behind Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Aaron McMillianDamage after the fire at a property behind Oak Street, Fakenham. Picture: Aaron McMillian

The spokesman said: “No-one was hurt - everyone who was under threat was gotten out.”

Norfolk Police were also on the scene to direct traffic. A spokesman said the road was closed during the fire, and was reopened at 6.50pm.

Additional reporting by Aaron McMillan

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