Nine days after Fakenham blaze, firefighters are called back to extinguish smouldering hot-spot

A scene from the aftermath of the fire in Fakenham town centre on May 25. Picture: Ian Burt

A scene from the aftermath of the fire in Fakenham town centre on May 25. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Firefighters were called to hose down the charred ruins of the former Aldiss department store in Fakenham, after a smouldering fire was discovered nine days after a blaze destroyed the building.

The century-old building on Upper Market Place, which was home to the Original Factory Shop, was engulfed in flames on May 25, bringing more than 100 firefighters to the town.

And at 3.24pm today, a crew from Fakenham needed to return to the scene to put out a smouldering fire which had developed from the embers.

David Ashworth, Head of Operations at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: 'Following a fire of the nature and magnitude of the Fakenham blaze on Sunday 25 May, it is not uncommon for hot-spots to remain.

'In this instance, given the amount of debris that had fallen since the original fire and the fact that crews have not yet been able to get inside the building to make it safe, it was always possible that we might experience a smouldering fire.'

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'We received a call from a neighbour who reported smoke coming from the building and we would like to praise their swift action in contacting us.

'Within ten minutes of the call one of our crews from Fakenham fire station had the fire under control and after 15 minutes it was fully extinguished.'

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The investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing.

Mr Ashworth said: 'Obtaining forensic details will take time as the building is currently structurally unsafe but we are working with the owners of the building and North Norfolk District Council to allow this to happen as soon as we possibly can.'

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