Holme Hale cottage deemed unsafe for fire investgators

Fire investigators have been unable to access the cottage where two women died in a blaze at the weekend.

The women, named locally as Peggy Rowland and Olive Cornish, were in their late 80s and mid-90s and are believed to have been sisters.

They both died at the scene after fire broke out in the roof of their secluded home in Lower Road, Holme Hale, just before 3.30pm on Sunday.

Investigations into the cause of the fire have been hampered by structural damage to the rear of the house and the decision was taken yesterday not to allow firefighters inside.

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire Service said: 'Investigators will now conduct an investigation based on evidence collected from the people first on the scene, the emergency services and neighbours and what can be seen.'

Norfolk Fire Service is urging older people in particular to take care after figures showed that all the county's fatal house fires in the past four years had involved people over 60.

Shocked neighbours have described the women as being reclusive and one is thought to have been bed-bound.

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Norfolk Police are not treating the fire as suspicious.