Four homes evacuated in Norwich

A Norwich home had to be evacuated on Christmas Eve after large cracks starting appearing in its walls.

Four terraced homes in Finkelgate, Norwich had to be evacuated after extensive cracks appeared in the house closest to the entrance to Notre Dame High School.

Other residents in the area were made aware of the problems, which also caused a depression and cracks in the road surface and pavements. As a precaution the area was cordoned off and Finkelgate closed to traffic.

Problems first arose on Christmas Eve evening, when the Fire and Rescue Service were called to a house on Finkelgate after the occupier reported cracks and problems closing a door.

On the advice of a structural engineer the Fire and Rescue Service shored up the building to reduce the risk of further movement and collapse and the occupier was advised to find alternative accommodation.

At lunchtime yesterday the Fire and Rescue Service responded to a further call and found that the condition of the property had deteriorated, along with signs of subsidence in Finkelgate itself.

The police advised immediate neighbours that they should evacuate, and these residents made their own accommodation arrangements. National Grid for gas stood by at the scene and carried out monitoring in case of leaks caused by possible damage to a gas main.

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The Fire and Rescue Service and the police remained on standby pending an investigation by highway and structural engineers.

Phil Berry, station manager at Sprowston Fire Station, said on Christams Eve: 'He (the occupier of the first house) said he couldn't close his door and noticed the frame had dropped and cracks were appearing in his house.'

Are you one of the people made homeless on Christmas Eve? Contact reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email