Norwich father-of-four describes dramatic moment he ran into burning Bethel Street house to rescue man still inside

Bethel Street fire. Photo: Luke Powell

Bethel Street fire. Photo: Luke Powell - Credit: Archant

A father-of-four has described the dramatic moment he went into a burning city centre house to rescue a man still inside.

Fire in building on Bethel Street in Norwich. Picture Twitter/ChristopherCooper

Fire in building on Bethel Street in Norwich. Picture Twitter/ChristopherCooper - Credit: Archant

The offshore worker said he ran into the property on Bethel Street on Tuesday afternoon after hearing someone had not made it out.

Despite smoke billowing from the windows of the three-storey house, he went inside and found a man on the first floor 'in shock'.

The 41-year-old, who did not wish to be named, said the man had burnt hair and appeared to be confused.

MORE: Two people taken to hospital after suffering burns in Norwich city centre house fire

The fire on Bethel Street. Photo: Luke Powell

The fire on Bethel Street. Photo: Luke Powell - Credit: Archant

But he managed to lead him out of the property as emergency services arrived shortly before 5pm.

'I came over to the house and saw these young girls and a little kid shouting for 'Tony',' he said.

'Because there was a mother shouting, I thought it was a kid, so my first reaction was to run in.'

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'I got to the middle floor and grabbed hold of the man. He was in shock and was trying to close the doors to stop air from coming in.

The fire on Bethel Street. Photo: Luke Powell

The fire on Bethel Street. Photo: Luke Powell - Credit: Archant

'I had to make him come out, because he kept running back up the stairs.

'But I said 'if you don't come down now, I'm going to make you come down.'

The offshore worker, who lives on St Giles Street, said the man looked to be in his 50s.

The fire service said two people were taken to hospital after suffering minor burns and smoke inhalation.

James Hilton, crew manager, said the fire started in the ground floor of the property, but filled the upper floors with smoke.

Crews from Sprowston, Wroxham, Wymondham, Earlham and an aerial ladder platform attended.

Mr Hilton said six breathing apparatus crews went inside the property to extinguish the flames.

It is understood that a number of aromatic oils caught fire, which resulted in the area smelling of eucalyptus.

Mr Hilton added: 'If the crews had not managed to control the fire, due to the age of the building, it may well have spread onto the upper floors.

'Conditions inside were difficult and there was a lot of heat and very heavy thick black smoke.'

He said an investigation was underway to determine the cause of the fire.

Staff at the neighbouring Pedal Revolution shop said they were also evacuated.

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