Former care home in Gorleston devastated by fire was meant to be auctioned tomorrow

Fire fighters at the former Russell Lodge Care Home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Fire fighters at the former Russell Lodge Care Home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A former care home in Gorleston was due to be sold at an auction tomorrow - but following a major fire the listing has now been withdrawn.

Fire fighters at the former Russell Lodge care home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Fire fighters at the former Russell Lodge care home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

Investigations are still ongoing into the cause of the blaze at the 12-bed former Russel Lodge on Lowestoft Road last night.

Auctioneers AH East Anglia today published a tweet saying: 'Due to unforeseen circumstances Russell Lodge in Gorleston has been removed from tomorrow's auction.'

The property had been put on their catalogue at a guide price of £250,000.

This morning a fire engine and a police car were outside the property as the investigation continued.

Fire fighters at the former Russell Lodge care home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Fire fighters at the former Russell Lodge care home. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016


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Arson has not been ruled out.

The blaze caused traffic disruption in the area this morning, as the A12 was closed until 8.50am.

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At the height of the incident last night, nearby residents were warned to keep their doors and windows closed, amid fears of fumes in the smoke. But incident commander Jonathan Wilby said no homes had needed to be evacuated.

Mr Wilby added that the building did not have any residents, but said officers in breathing apparatus entered the building to check that there were no homeless people inside.

Morning after fire at former care home in Gorleston

Morning after fire at former care home in Gorleston - Credit: Archant

He said the seat of the fire was a first-floor balcony.

Once it was established that the building was empty, it took firefighters 40 minutes to douse the flames, but officers are still damping down.

Four appliances from Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Acle and the aerial ladder platform and support appliance from Great Yarmouth were called at 9.34pm. A cordon is in place around the building, which is obscured from view from the road by trees.

Alistair Page was returning to his Lowestoft Road home after an evening out when he saw the fire. He said: 'I saw it from the time the first engine arrived until they subdued the flames.' He added: 'It was the whole building that went up in flames. There's no way it'll be recoverable.'

Russell Lodge is listed for auction on Zoopla.

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