Firefighters battle to prevent blaze spreading through historic King’s Lynn

Fire fighters at the scene of a fire in Nelson Street in King's Lynn. Picture: SUBMITTED.

Fire fighters at the scene of a fire in Nelson Street in King's Lynn. Picture: SUBMITTED.

The narrow road of Nelson Street, close to many of the town's heritage assets, was taken over with crews tackling a fire in a 15th-century house.

Firefighters at the scene of a fire in Nelson Street, in King's Lynn.

Firefighters at the scene of a fire in Nelson Street, in King's Lynn. - Credit: Archant

The home was badly damaged and neighbouring properties were left with smoke damage.

Neil Richardson, station officer for King's Lynn, was at the scene co-ordinating the incident which happened yesterday morning.

He said: 'Nelson Street is a very historic street and fire can spread very quickly in such old buildings.

'The challenge we always face with buildings in such historic streets is that techniques used to prevent the spread of fires in modern buildings simply do not exist in these older properties.'

He added: 'For example, historic properties have a common roof void which means fire can spread quickly if it reaches the attic.

'Also, the structures of many are made of wood which over the years may have dried out. This makes it easier to burn.'

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Crews of firefighters from King's Lynn and Sandringham were called shortly before 8am yesterday to reports of the fire. The aerial ladder was also called to the incident.

They remained at the scene for most of the morning to ensure the fire was completely extinguished and there were no hot-spots.

Ash from a woodburner is understood to have been the cause.

Nelson Street, located in the town's historic quarter, is close to landmarks including the King's Lynn Minster, Hanse House and the quay side.

It boasts a huge variety of grade I- and II-listed buildings which line the street and date back to the medieval period and 19th century.

Many once belonged to the town's successful merchants who were trading from the thriving port.

Local historian Paul Richards said: 'Nelson Street really is an important historical and heritage asset to the town. It's a hugely important conservation area and very important for tourism.'

He added: 'All the buildings along the west side are very important merchant houses from the 15th century. On the other side of the street there were many artisans and pubs.

'When the port was thriving, the area would be teeming with sailors from the ships. I'm sure the stories that could be told are remarkable.'

- Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service recommends that all homes are fitted with working smoke detectors. It also offers Home Risk Checks where the fire service will visit a property to offer further advice. Visit its website for more information.

- Do you have a west Norfolk story? Email louise.hepburn@archant.co.uk