Tributes paid to man with 'heart of gold' killed in city fire

Langley Walk where a fatal fire broke out on Tuesday, February 2 (Picture Danielle Booden) and inset Gary Hunt who died in...

Langley Walk where a fatal fire broke out on Tuesday, February 2 (Picture Danielle Booden) and inset Gary Hunt who died in the fire (Picture Facebook) - Credit: Danielle Booden, Archant Norfolk/Facebook

A man killed in a fire at his Norwich home has been described as a "lovely guy" who had a "heart of gold".

Fire crews from Earlham, Carrow and Sprowston were called to a fire in a bungalow at Langley Walk, off Old Palace Road on Tuesday, February 2.

Langley Walk in Norwich where a house fire took place last night. Picture: Danielle Booden

Blue and white police tape surrounds the bungalow where the fire happened. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Danielle Booden

Police later confirmed that a man in his 50s found inside the property died in the blaze which broke out shortly before 9.30pm.

Friends and neighbours have now paid tribute to the man, who has been named locally as Gary Hunt.

Hanna Hughes, 38, from Langley Walk said Mr Hunt, who would have turned 60 later this year, had a “heart of gold”.

She said: "He was out sweeping his step every day. He was just a lovely guy.”

She said he lived alone with his cat which also died in the fire, adding: "he loved his cat”.

Police officer at scene of house fire

Police at the scene of the house fire in Langley Walk, Norwich. - Credit: Danielle Booden

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They were alerted to the fire after another neighbour “saw smoke coming out of his vents”.

She said: “They tried to knock on his door to see if they could get a response but couldn’t and called the fire brigade.

“I just can’t believe it’s happened to such a lovely man”.

Langley Walk, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams

Langley Walk, Norwich. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: ARCHANT LTD

It is understood Mr Hunt was a former Hellesdon High School pupil.

Neil Featherby, owner of Sportlink running and fitness in Taverham, who used to go to school with Mr Hunt, said he was a "really likeable guy".

The 63-year-old, who remembers going out drinking with Mr Hunt and their friends at the Firs and Whiffler pubs in Hellesdon when they were younger, said: "He was just a lovely guy.

"He was just like a lovely big teddy bear - he never had a bad word to say about anyone."

Mr Featherby said Mr Hunt popped into Sportlink just before Christmas, adding "I'm so glad I saw him. It's just so sad what's happened."

Some tributes have been left at the scene of the fire, including some flowers and a badge belonging to his favourite football team, Norwich City.

One card from neighbours read: “RIP Gary you will be very missed. Thank you for always being such a lovely neighbour”.

Picture of flowers left at scene of fatal fire at Langley Walk.

Picture of flowers left at scene of fatal fire at Langley Walk. - Credit: Peter Walsh/Archant Norfolk

David Driver, 30, who lived in the area , said: “He was just a really nice guy. He was always friendly, always talkative and he would always have a chat with you".

Another neighbour, Leanne Warvill, 30, said: “He was just a lovely man."

Police van near Langley Walk

Police remain at the scene of the house fire in Langley Walk, Norwich. - Credit: Dan Grimmer

A police spokesman said the fire is being treated as non-suspicious, and a file has been prepared for the coroner.