Neighbours describe horror after woman dies in flat fire

A woman in her 30s died following a flat fire in Rodney Road, Great Yarmouth. Photo: James Carr.

A woman in her 30s died following a flat fire in Rodney Road, Great Yarmouth. Photo: James Carr. - Credit: Archant

Horrified neighbours have told of their shock after a woman in her 30s died in a flat fire.

Emergency services battled for almost an hour in a smoke-filled basement flat on Rodney Road, Great Yarmouth to try and save the woman on Friday.

Neighbour Callum Laxton, 19, heard the fire engines rushing to the property at around 10.45am.

He said: 'I heard all the sirens from the fire engines and looked out of my window.

'They had blocked off the area and then the police and ambulance came. When I heard the air ambulance I knew something bad had happened – it landed down at the beach.'

Mr Laxton added: 'I can't believe it to be honest. It's devastating; I just can't imagine what their family is going through.'

Andrew Wheatley lives opposite to where the fire took place and labelled the tragedy 'horrific'.

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He said: 'This is a quiet area, everybody seems to know everybody. Something like this happens and everybody is out of their houses.

'It's horrific; you don't want to hear of someone dying right on your doorstop.'

Chief Insp Nathan Clark, of Great Yarmouth police, said they found the woman unresponsive when they arrived.

Police officers tried to save her life using CPR before handing over to paramedics; who spent another 50 minutes battling in vain to save the woman.

Mr Clark said: 'It is a tragedy and we will be investigating the circumstances. It is not believed to be suspicious at this stage. We will be bringing in specialist scene of crimes officers.

The chief inspector said one of the main problems in dealing with the incident was the amount of smoke in the basement flat.

No other residents in nearby flats were injured or affected by the fire physically.

Mark Little, the main ambulance officer at the scene, said: 'Our thoughts go out to family and friends of the deceased person at this time.'

Mr Little praised the joint emergency services protocol measures that were enforced as the incident escalated and said: 'They worked together as one team.'