More than 40 firefighters called to reports of possible blaze at Blickling Hall

Blickling Hall. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Blickling Hall. Picture: Mark Bullimore - Credit: Archant

More than 40 firefighters from across north Norfolk were called to reports of a possible blaze at Blickling Hall.

Fire crews rushed to the stately home, near Aylsham, this evening after thick black smoke was spotted pouring from one of its chimneys.

Staff at the estate had also reported smoke had been seen inside the building's basement boiler room.

Kenny Gray, 46, senior house steward, said his wife Sarah, 33, had noticed something was wrong while she was jogging around the estate.

He said: 'There was a lot of smoke coming out of the chimney, and normally you would not see it. But it was quite a dense black smoke and there was also smoke in the boiler room.

'We phoned the fire service and they were on scene within about 10 minutes.'

The pair rushed into the building and hit an emergency switch on the wall, which shut down the boiler and stopped the smoke.

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Appliances from Aylsham, Reepham, North Walsham, Cromer and Sprowston attended the scene at around 7.20pm.

But Simon Mason, duty officer for Norfolk fire service's eastern district, said the situation was under control by the time they arrived.

He said that a flexible seal on a flue attached to the boiler had perished and started to burn, causing the smoke.

'The initial call we received was that they had smoke in the premises,' he said. 'And due to the national importance of the building we put out a big response to that.'

Fire crews spent more than an hour checking each floor of the stately home for any residual heat, before leaving the scene at 9.15pm.

Mr Gray said no damage was caused to the property.

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