Investigation begins as two die in house fire

An investigation is under way after two elderly women died in a house fire at a property near Necton yesterday.

The women both died at the scene following a fire which broke out in the roof of a cottage on Lower Road, Holme Hale, at about 3.30pm yesterday.

Two ambulances and an ambulance officer attended but paramedics were unable to save either of the women, who have not been named.

Fire crews from Swaffham, Watton and two from Dereham as well as the aerial ladder platform from Earlham were called to the blaze and spent more than three hours battling the fire and damping down.

Firefighters remained at the scene most of the night to ensure the fire did not reignite ahead of the investigation which started this morning.

Police, who remained at the scene into the night, cordoned off Lower Road to the public, with officers stating that it was being 'treated as a potential crime scene'.

The police cordon meant the house was not visible to the public from Cook Road although officers at the scene would not go into any further detail about the incident.

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A spokesman for Norfolk police said: 'At approximately 3.30pm officers attended a fire at Holme Hale. Sadly two elderly woman have died as a result of the incident.

'Officers remained at the scene as investigations continue but currently the cause of the fire is not believed to be suspicious.'

A spokesman for the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said the brigade were called to the two-storey property at just after 3.20pm.

He said the crews found a 'severe fire' which led to the fatalities and also caused serious fire and smoke damage to the property.

He added that the fire service would be working with the police to establish what exactly caused the fire.