Neighbour tells how he rushed into burning home where man died in King’s Lynn
- Credit: Ian Burt
An investigation will continue today into the cause of a blaze which left a man dead and his elderly mother in hospital.
Emergency services were called to the property on Alice Fisher Crescent, in King's Lynn, and arrived as brave efforts were being made by neighbours to save the mother and son, named locally as Chris and Carol Flegg.
Neighbour Kirk Claxton described how he saw flames lashing out of the window of the upper floor of the house as he travelled on his way to work at around 6.30am.
With the help of another neighbour, Mr Claxton broke into the house and rushed to coax Ms Flegg, who was in a ground floor bedroom, up and out of danger.
'I spotted the flames and as I got out of my van I checked the fire brigade had been called. Stupidly I went inside.
'When the lady realised what we were doing she was more concerned about her son upstairs. As we got her to her feet the fire brigade turned up. I will probably think twice next time but this morning I didn't. I wouldn't have done it without the second man,' added the 28-year-old, who has lived in the neighbourhood for six years.
'The first thing I said to my partner was 'I am sorry'.'
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Ms Flegg was taken to hospital with smoke inhalation and an investigation in underway to find the cause of the fire.
Three crews from King's Lynn and another from Sandringham tackled the blaze, which was centred on the first floor.
Tim Edwards, group manager for the western district of the Norfolk fire service, said he believed the smoke alarm in the house was not working.
Mr Edwards said the actions of the neighbours who entered the house were 'brave' and 'courageous' and their early calls to emergency services prevented the fire from blazing throughout the semi-detached house and adjoining properties.
The tragic incident comes as the public consultation on whether to make cuts to Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was closed last night.
One of the appliances at Sandringham and one at King's Lynn North are under threat of being taken away and, without them, Mr Edwards said the response to yesterday's blaze might have taken longer.
Fire station manager for the eastern district Simon Mason said: 'It's still incredibly early days in the investigation.
'The neighbour has done a fabulous job in assisting. The early detection of fire is very important to us and these guys have did their upmost to warn everyone there was fire.
'It could very easily have spread and done a lot more damage to the property.'
A neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: 'I looked towards my right and saw nothing but when I looked towards the left I saw fire up the curtains of the upstairs room.
'We are quite united in this street and we all look out for one another. It's a nice neighbourhood and we all seem to know one another,' she said.
Another neighbour said: 'This is a nice, quiet neighbourhood and they were nice people. It was a horrendous shock. When I got up I looked out of the window and I thought my eyes had gone funny because of all the ambulance lights and the fire engine.'