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Norfolk Broads village and pub left without power as fire crews battle sub-station blaze

PUBLISHED: 14:31 15 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:34 16 August 2020

An electrical transformer fire in Stokesby saw the entire village plunged into darkness and people told to leave their homes. Engineers are working to reconnect people to the grid. The Ferry Inn has had power restored and will open at 11am today (Saturday, August 15) Picture: Alison Brewster/Ferry Inn

An electrical transformer fire in Stokesby saw the entire village plunged into darkness and people told to leave their homes. Engineers are working to reconnect people to the grid. The Ferry Inn has had power restored and will open at 11am today (Saturday, August 15) Picture: Alison Brewster/Ferry Inn

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Residents have been left without power and a pub faces throwing out eight fridges full of food after a sub-station blaze.

An electrical transformer fire in Stokesby saw the entire village plunged into darkness and people told to leave their homes. Engineers are working to reconnect people to the grid. The Ferry Inn has had power restored and will open at 11am today (Saturday, August 15) Picture: Alison Brewster/Ferry InnAn electrical transformer fire in Stokesby saw the entire village plunged into darkness and people told to leave their homes. Engineers are working to reconnect people to the grid. The Ferry Inn has had power restored and will open at 11am today (Saturday, August 15) Picture: Alison Brewster/Ferry Inn

Emergency services rushed to the scene at Stokesby, in the heart of the Norfolk Broads, on Friday at around 8.30pm amid reports of a large fire in an electricity sub-station close to a tight cluster of homes.

Police at the scene closed the road and residents closest to the blaze were asked to leave their properties.

Alison Brewster, landlady at the nearby Ferry Inn, said they first realised something was wrong when lights started flickering and they saw huge plumes of smoke coming from near The Green.

She said: “All the food had gone out and we were sitting outside just to cool down and we saw all the lights in the pub started flickering.

An electrical transformer fire in Stokesby saw the entire village plunged into darkness and people told to leave their homes. Engineers are working to reconnect people to the grid. The Ferry Inn has had power restored and will open at 11am today (Saturday, August 15) Picture: Alison Brewster/Ferry InnAn electrical transformer fire in Stokesby saw the entire village plunged into darkness and people told to leave their homes. Engineers are working to reconnect people to the grid. The Ferry Inn has had power restored and will open at 11am today (Saturday, August 15) Picture: Alison Brewster/Ferry Inn

“There was this incredible noise and we could not work out where it was coming from.

“We looked over to The Green and saw these huge plumes of smoke and this massive fire behind double gates.

“We went out and my daughter and her boyfriend started banging on doors to get everyone out.”

MORE: Village thanks local pub for support during lockdown

Mrs Brewster added that by chance a police officer was already at the pub on another matter and was able to act instantly, cordoning off the road.

The noise and scale of the response which included fire crews from Acle, Gorleston, and Carrow as well as police drew people from their homes, worried about what was going on.

For a time the whole village was plunged into darkness but those closest to the electricity sub-station were still cut-off this morning.

The latest information from UK Power Networks said engineers had been able to carry out some repairs.

Damage to overhead network equipment, however, needed a specialist team expected to arrive in the village at around 9am.

They estimated those still without power would be reinstated by 12.30pm today, Saturday.

Meanwhile the pub was back on the grid by around 8.45am.

However, with such a long period without power much of the stock would have to be disposed of in case it was unsafe.

Mrs Brewster estimated it was likely they would lose everything in all eight fridges, adding: “When you are dealing with the public you cannot take a risk.

“No-one was hurt, it is all stuff that can be sorted out. It’s not the end of the world,” she said.

The pub expects to open at 11am today, Saturday, having missed out on its busy breakfast trade.

Fire crews using hose reel jets and a hydrant took around two hours to put out the blaze.


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