Devastation after Snettisham house fire
- Credit: Archant
An elderly man's home has been left gutted by a fierce fire, which damaged a neighbouring property.
Flames tore through the semi-detached house in Snettisham on Saturday morning.
The man living in the property was taken to hospital, while a female neighbour was also evacuated as the fire spread to her house.
Philip Wakefield, 56, who lives opposite the house in Longview Close, said he was out in his yard when he heard the property's fire alarm going off.
'I looked over and there were plumes of smoke going up into the sky,' he said.
Mr Wakefield, a self-employed handyman, dialled 999. As crews arrived, he set up a stand outside his property to serve tea, coffee and biscuits to to the firefighters.
'They are working so hard, bless them. They are doing a wonderful job and have come from all parts of the county, from Terrington St John, Fakenham and King's Lynn,' he said.
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His son David also saw the fire engulf the house. He said: 'It went up quick. As soon as you saw the black smoke coming out that was it. Ten minutes later, there were flames billowing out of the front.'
Warren McShane, who also lives nearby, said: 'It was like a mushroom cloud going up, there were flames coming out of the windows.' Some 40 firefighters from across west Norfolk took more than an hour to extinguish the blaze using hosereel jets, breathing apparatus and an aerial ladder.
Station manager Terry Pinto, from Norfolk Fire Service, said afterwards: 'We were met with a well-developed house fire at about 8.30am.
'Because of the spread to a neighbouring property, it's been a difficult incident to deal with.
'We're going to be on the scene for a number of hours making sure the fire is fully extinguished and to carry out our own fire investigation.'
Police officers also attended the scene, but a spokesman for the Norfolk force said there are no reports of anyone being trapped in the building.
The main Lynn road was closed for more than an hour at the junction with Longview Close.
Firefighters remained at the scene into the evening, to check the fire was out.