Flags belonging to one of Norfolk’s emergency services have been lowered to half-mast as a mark of respect following the death of a “respected” firefighter.

David Pickwell, who worked at King’s Lynn North Fire Station, died during the early hours of Tuesday morning on July 19.

Hundreds of his family, friends, and colleagues have taken to social media to pay their respects.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement posted online: “With great sadness we are announcing the death of our colleague and friend firefighter David Pickwell at the King’s Lynn North Fire Station.

“David joined us in April 2017 and became a respected member of King’s Lynn’s Blue Watch. He was a good friend to many, serving the communities of Norfolk with immense professionalism and pride.

“Our thoughts are with David’s wife and two sons and with his wider family and friends. As a mark of respect our flags have been lowered across Norfolk.”

The service’s interim chief fire officer, Tim Edwards, also paid tribute. In a post shared with his followers on Twitter, he said: “This morning we lowered the flags on our stations to pay tribute to one of our incredible firefighters who died suddenly this week. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and also with those on his watch and those who helped him."

Many colleagues joined him in changing his profile picture to a black background with a red line through the middle - a gesture that represents a loss within the firefighting community.

Mr Pickwell loved football and was a season ticket holder at Lincoln City Football Club and coach at Hykeham Tigers Junior Football Club where he coached.

The Tigers also posted a statement to its followers online. It read: “Hykeham Tigers JFC are devastated at the passing of our much loved friend and colleague, David Pickwell.

“Dave was a huge part of our club and will be sadly missed by anyone who had the pleasure to know or work with him. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”