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Former north Norfolk MP pays tribute to 'community-spirited' man

PUBLISHED: 10:59 28 December 2019 | UPDATED: 10:59 28 December 2019

Norman Lamb at his home in Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Norman Lamb at his home in Norwich. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A former north Norfolk MP has paid tribute to a 79-year-old man who died in a house fire in Northrepps.

Ed Maxfield, Lib Dem for Norfolk County Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYEd Maxfield, Lib Dem for Norfolk County Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Sir Norman Lamb, who was the Liberal Democrat MP for north Norfolk until earlier this year, has paid tribute to John Laker who died on Saturday, December 21.

Emergency services were called to a fire at a home on Norwich Road, Northrepps, just after 11.40pm on Friday, December 20, and discovered two people caught in a blaze.

The pair were rushed to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where Mr Laker died one day later.

Crews from Cromer, Sheringham and North Walsham battled the fire, finally standing down just after 1am.

The woman, also in her 70s, was later discharged from hospital after being treated for smoke inhalation.

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Sir Norman said: "I knew John very well. He was a lovely man who was amazingly community-spirited.

"He devoted himself to the Royal British Legion and many other causes. I offer my sincere condolences to his widow. John will be greatly missed."

Mr Laker was the former chairman of the Sheringham and District Branch of the Royal British Legion.

He was also a member of the Liberal Democrats.

Ed Maxfield, councillor for Mundesley Division and leader of Lib Dem group on Norfolk County Council also paid tribute tothe 79-year-old.

He said: "This is desperately sad news. John was a lovely man. Thoughts with his family and those who were closest to him."

An investigation has concluded that the fire was not started deliberately.

An inquest into Mr Laker's death will be opened at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich on Monday, December 30.

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