Bar and restaurant on A11 destroyed after blaze breaks out
- Credit: Norfolk Fire Service
More than 60 firefighters have tackled a blaze at a popular bar and restaurant.
Crews were called to the Breckland Lodge, just off the A11 at Attleborough, at 9.20am and arrived within nine minutes.
At the height of the blaze Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service had 15 appliances tackling the blaze which had spread to the roof of the bar and restaurant. A spokesperson said some crews are still at the scene damping down and expect to be there for the rest of the day.
General manager Colin Kilby described the fire as 'tragic' but was thankful everyone was safe.
'It will hit home eventually,' he said. 'The whole building is gone. We will be closed for a little while. Everything can be rebuilt but the most important thing is that everyone is safe and sound.
'We will rebuild and we will rebuild better. It will be disruptive but we will get by.'
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Staff and customers who were evacuated were taken to The White Lodge. The pub tweeted: 'Sending our very best wishes to our neighbours @BrecklandLodge. Hoping everyone is safe and damage is minimal. Here if you need us.'
Furzana Noordin and her husband from Kenya have been staying in the hotel at Breckland Lodge for six nights to visit family. It's their first time to this part of England.
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She said: 'We were in the room opposite where the fire started and we saw it start from the roof. It was only small when it started and it spread before our eyes.
'It's all over the roof. The staff here are lovely and the food is amazing. It's such a nice place. Our son came up from London to stay tonight because we recommended it.'
Paul Burton who stayed in the hotel last night, and is a repeat customer, was there on business. He said: 'I was having breakfast and went back to my room where I was doing a couple of emails and someone came down the corridor saying there was a fire.
'The accommodation is separate from the pub but I looked out the window and saw the roof was on fire and I was sitting under it only minutes before. 'It just started to spread and it is awful. It's really difficult for everyone and their jobs. It was five minutes or so until the fire brigade arrived.
'They started to tackle the blaze but it just started to spread. It's a nice place and this is a pretty major fire.'
Police were also in attendance and London Road was shut during the blaze.
Breckland Lodge consists of The Stag pub, a hotel, coffee lounge and restaurant which is well known for its carvery.