Update: Firefighters save thatched former home of cafe in Westlegate, Norwich

Fire at the former Casaccios cafe in Westlegate, Norwich

Fire at the former Casaccios cafe in Westlegate, Norwich - Credit: Archant

Firefighters this morning saved one of the most picturesque buildings in Norwich city centre from going up in flames.

Fire at the former Casaccios cafe in Westlegate, Norwich

Fire at the former Casaccios cafe in Westlegate, Norwich - Credit: Archant

Two fire engines were initially sent to the Westlegate, but when firefighters realised it was a thatched building a total of 12 appliances, including an aerial platform, were sent.

Fire at the former Casaccios cafe in Westlegate, Norwich

Fire at the former Casaccios cafe in Westlegate, Norwich - Credit: Archant

The fire was at the former home of Casaccios cafe, next to the old McDonald's in Westlegate, and started just before 6.15am.

Gary Davison, deputy watch manager at Carrow, said: 'We were greeted by smoke coming from the ridge. The call was initially about Westlegate Tower which is a building site and then when you see a thatch it brings it to a different level.'

The fire started in the lower end of the thatch at the back of the building.


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Mr Davison said firefighters had to break through a gate to the neighbouring Westlegate Tower building site to get to the scene.

He said the roof of the three-storey building was tinder dry, and they had to take some of the thatch off the roof so they could get water to the source of the fire.

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The fire was declared out at 6.53am, with some damage to the thatch but little more than water damage to the inside of the building.

Mr Davison said: 'The main thing is getting in early to these jobs because this sort of one is where you can have the problems.

'It's a pat on the back to the lads. It's a job well done and the thatch was saved.'

A fire service spokesman said there were no casualties, and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Westlegate was closed to traffic for about an hour and a half, but reopened at 7.45am, before the morning rush hour.

Did you see what happened or take any photos? Email martin.george@archant.co.uk

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