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‘The scariest thing I’ve lived through’ - Woman describes moment neighbour’s house went up in flames

PUBLISHED: 13:08 15 May 2020 | UPDATED: 16:02 15 May 2020

River Court in Hempton, near Fakenham where fire crews were called to a domestic blaze. Picture: Ellie Weatherly

River Court in Hempton, near Fakenham where fire crews were called to a domestic blaze. Picture: Ellie Weatherly

Archant

A woman has described her fear as she watched her neighbour’s house engulfed by fire - as her housemate tried to tackle the flames with a garden hose.

River Court in Hempton, near Fakenham where fire crews were called to a domestic blaze. Picture: Ellie WeatherlyRiver Court in Hempton, near Fakenham where fire crews were called to a domestic blaze. Picture: Ellie Weatherly

Ellie Weatherly, 22, from Norwich, is isolating at her boyfriend’s home in River Court, Hempton, near Fakenham, doors away from where a fire started at 3.20pm on Wednesday, May 13.

Miss Weatherly and her housemate saw the fire take hold at the back of their neighbour’s property, watching it tear through their conservatory, onto garden fences, through the home and into the house in front.

The housemate grabbed the garden hose in an attempt to tackle the blaze.

“It is the scariest thing I have ever lived through”, Miss Weatherly said.

Ellie Weatherly (right) with Jack Thompson (left). Picture: Ellie WeatherlyEllie Weatherly (right) with Jack Thompson (left). Picture: Ellie Weatherly

“I was worried about people and their pets, and wondering if it will get to us.”

As the fire took hold the 22-year-old phoned the fire brigade, grabbed her dog and left the home.

Miss Weatherly said the flames tripled in size over the next ten minutes. She said it broke windows and damaged roofs as it moved between the four houses.

At the front of the homes, neighbours gathered around, watching the blaze engulf the four houses.

River Court in Hempton, near Fakenham where fire crews were called to a domestic blaze. Picture: Ellie WeatherlyRiver Court in Hempton, near Fakenham where fire crews were called to a domestic blaze. Picture: Ellie Weatherly

Miss Weatherly said the scene was distressing as people were in tears and screaming.

Despite the dramatic scene, neighbours keep their distance, abiding by the social distancing guidelines.

“It was strange not being able to go over and give them all hugs, it was very weird.” Miss Weatherly said.

However, some did have to break the rules to help a neighbour out of their home.

River Court in Hempton, near Fakenham where fire crews were called to a domestic blaze. Picture: Ellie WeatherlyRiver Court in Hempton, near Fakenham where fire crews were called to a domestic blaze. Picture: Ellie Weatherly

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She said: “They had to because there were more serious things to deal with.”

Miss Weatherly said neighbours were left shaken by the incident but rallied round in support of each other.

Eight fire engines attended the scene. They extinguished the flames by 4.40pm, with one crew staying on scene until 8pm.

The events which lead to fire are currently under investigation.

The ambulance service said one ambulance was sent to the scene, and treated two people. Nobody was taken to hospital, and there were no casualties.

Miss Weatherly was thankful for their quick response.

“I was thinking if the wind was blowing this way (towards their house), or if it went on for another five minutes it could have been us,” she said.


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