Fire interrupts racegoers’ tea at Fakenham Racecourse

Fire crews have freed a casualty following a road traffic collision at Buxton near Aylsham

Fire crews have freed a casualty following a road traffic collision at Buxton near Aylsham - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2011

It broke out in the corner of a single-storey wooden building near The Gallow sports centre at around 4pm, shortly before the end of today's race meeting.

Clerk of the course David Hunter said: 'We had a small group of racegoers using the facilities who had to be evacuated but it didn't affect the racing at all.

'About 20 racegoers were asked to leave. Whatever it was, it happened as the last race was about to start so it didn't affect the racing or anything like that.

'We had a party who were having tea after racing. They went to a close-by seafood restaurant'

No-one was injured in the fire, which happened in a building on the edge of the course which is rented out to The Gallow.

Two crews from Fakenham extinguished the flames within minutes using breathing apparatus and a hose reel jet. They checked that the fire was out using a thermal imaging camera, before leaving the scene.

Sally Mc Grath, manager at The Gallow, said: 'It was very minor, it was literally a piece of wooden cladding which had caught from somebody's dog-end.

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'If it hadn't been so windy, it wouldn't have been an issue at all. It was quite a non-event to be fair.'

Earlier crowds had flocked to the racecourse for the first meeting of 2016, enjoying a card of six races despite warnings to hold onto their hats because strong winds were expected during the afternoon.

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