“Your worst nightmare” - house on residential street is devastated by fire
- Credit: Archant
Fire crews spent hours battling a devastating fire as it tore through a house on a residential street.
Firefighters, police and the ambulance service were initially called to the property on Addison Road in Gorleston at about 11.30am this morning.
Nobody was in the house when the fire began, but a quick-thinking neighbour was on hand to rescue two dogs before the fire crews arrived.
Crews discovered that the blaze had spread rapidly through the house, including to the roof.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service took to Twitter to warn people to 'avoid the area' and to 'close windows and doors', whilst people on social media described seeing 'thick smoke'.
Having utilised breathing apparatus, firefighters set about battling the blaze, but faced difficulties in extinguishing the fire as it ripped through the top of the house.
Neighbours watched on in horror as the extent of the damage became clear.
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One resident, who lives just a few doors down from the affected house, said: 'My son let me know what was going on at about 11.30am. Initially I thought it was a fire engine on the nearby bypass.
'It's devastating - it's your worst nightmare to come home to this.'
In an effort to finally suppress the flames as they gradually destroyed the roof, two firefighters were lifted above the house on an aerial platform ladder.
From their vantage point, they managed to bring the blaze under control and continued to dampen down the smoke, but by then the destruction was extensive.
Tim Edwards, group manager for Norfolk Fire Service, explained why it took so long to douse the blaze.
'The fire started in the house but quickly spread to the roof,' he said. 'It's incredibly difficult to bring roof fires under control, simply because the tiles are designed to keep water out and that obviously presents a difficulty for firefighters.
'It's fortunate that the owners of the house were away and a neighbour managed to rescue two dogs.'
It is not currently clear how the fire started, although there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.
'At this point we've no idea how the fire began, but an investigation will be carried out in due course,' added Mr Edwards.
The owners of the house are aware of the fire.