VIDEO: Warning after Lakenham stable fire claims life of horse

Fire chiefs have issued a warning following a blaze at a stable complex near Norwich which claimed the life of a horse.

Forty firefighters were involved in tackling the fire which involved large straw bales and broke out at the barn and stables in fields off Stoke Road, Lakenham, Norwich.

Station manager Bob Ayers, from King's Lynn Fire Station, was in charge of the firefighting operation co-ordinating crews from Earlham, Sprowston, Hethersett, Wymondham, Norwich, Loddon and Wroxham from just after 2pm yesterday.

He said: 'It started off, we believe, in a rubbish fire that had stopped burning. It looks as if it probably was out. The wind has carried it straight for a muck heap next to the stable and, with strong winds, that muck heap has set fire to a range of farm buildings used for horses and dogs.'

Mr Ayers confirmed that one horse had died as a result of the fire, but praised the owners for getting all other animals, including horses, dogs and goats, out of the buildings before they too perished.

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He said: 'There were horses, dogs, goats, all sorts down there. They did well to get them out when they did, but unfortunately they couldn't get the last one out.

'Conditions were made a lot worse by the strong wind on the day.

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'Firefighters worked hard and managed to contain the blaze.'

Mr Ayers said the key message to be taken from the aftermath of the fire was the need to ensure that rubbish fires are burned away from other combustible sources and that when they are left they are extinguished.

He added: 'That could have prevented this situation.'

The RSPCA attended the incident, while police stopped traffic travelling down Stoke Road from the mini-roundabout at the bottom of Long John Hill/Mansfield Lane to allow fire crews to tackle the fire.

The blaze, which saw 30 metres by 40 metres of stable block alight at its height, was captured on video camera by Steve Fowkes, a former builder, from Poringland.

Mr Fowkes, 46, a father of three, said: 'I was just coming down Long John Hill and saw a lot of black smoke. I pass there quite a bit as its on the way home and thought it was just the guy burning straw. It wasn't until I got to the bottom that I realised it was a bit more than straw on fire.'

Have you shot a video of something dramatic in Norwich? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email

To view the video, visit

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