'She was a lovely lady' - Tributes to woman who died in house fire
- Credit: Victoria Pertusa
A long-term friend who travelled to Norwich to pay his respects to a woman who died in a house fire has described her as "a lovely lady".
On Friday morning, firefighters were called to Unthank Road in Norwich after a fire broke out in the home of an elderly woman who lived on the road.
Four crews spent the morning fighting the blaze, which a neighbour says "turned the whole house black", but found the woman's body inside.
On learning of the blaze, Noel Course, a long-term friend of the woman, travelled from his home in Wreningham to pay his respects.
He said: "I had known her all my life, having previously lived just around the corner and she was just such a lovely lady.
"I had only spoken to her yesterday and she was just fine then, although she said she was getting quite forgetful - I do hope that isn't what caused the fire.
"We had only recently exchanged Christmas cards. She was very well liked and had a son and a daughter, so it is terribly sad."
Fire crews were called to the scene shortly after 6.40am on Friday morning, with a cordon put in place between the road's junctions with Colman Road and Leopold Road.
Gay Lind, a 72-year-old grandmother who lives on Unthank Road, said: "I didn't know her personally, but it is terribly sad to hear of. I know my neighbours either side but we're not really a community where everyone knows everyone else, but it is still sad to hear.
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"I woke up and saw the flashing so looked out and there it was all happening."
A 22-year-old woman, who also lives on Unthank Road, added: "It's quite scary to think something like that could happen so close to your home.
"My dad walked by earlier in the morning and said it had turned the whole house black inside. The very first thing he did when he got back was check our smoke alarms were working."
An investigation into what caused the blaze is under way, with an police presence remaining in the area throughout the day.