Fire-fighters spend four hours at blaze in Beverley Road, Norwich

Aftermath of the house fire in Beverley Road, Norwich, on Saturday night.Photo: Bill Smith

Aftermath of the house fire in Beverley Road, Norwich, on Saturday night.Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Dozens of fire-fighters spent more than four hours tackling a blaze at a terraced house in Earlham.

Fire crews from Carrow, Sprowston, Hethersett, Wymondham, Earlham and an aerial ladder platform from Earlham attended the fire in Beverley Road, which started just after 9pm yesterday.

Crews had to smash the front door of the house to get inside the property, which was not occupied at the time. People also had to be evacuated from the two neighbouring houses.

Duncan Ashworth, station manager at North Earlham, said an investigation into the blaze concluded that it was accidental ignition.

He said: 'We were called just after 9pm and fire-fighters were on scene until about 1.30am today.

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'The fire was initially in the roof structure, which was well alight by the time we attended.

'The major fire damage was caused to the roof and there's also quite a lot of water damage.

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'People were evacuated from the two adjacent terraced properties. One of those houses also has a lot of water damage.'

Norfolk police also attended, and cordoned off the area.

A spokesman said: 'We had reports that the roof was on fire. Police assisted the fire service. No-one was in the house at the time. We are trying to trace the occupants. People from two neighbouring properties were evacuated as a precautionary measure. No-one was injured.'

Neighbours today spoke of pulling back the curtains to see flames shooting from the roof of the property.

One woman, who did not wish to be named: 'It was quite shocking watching the firemen smash their way in through the front door with a battering ram.

'An elderly woman lives in one of the neighbouring properties and she got out all right. On the other side, a young woman and her kids were asleep and had to be woken up.

'There were people out on the street swarming in from everywhere. I thought they were getting in the way a bit, and wondered why they wanted to get so close. The firemen got it under control really quickly.'

Neighbours were unsure how many people lived in the property.

One man said: 'There seems to be a lot of comings and goings at that house. At one time there were a lot of Chinese people living there. I don't know who lives there now.'

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