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‘I didn’t want anyone to die’ - Mother tell of town fire drama

PUBLISHED: 16:44 07 February 2020 | UPDATED: 09:04 08 February 2020

Fire fighters at the fire in Watton's High Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Fire fighters at the fire in Watton's High Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2020

A woman has described how she tried to warn 30 people during a traumatic fire which has destroyed several businesses.

The building which housed a number of Watton businesses has been sealed off after a fire. Picture: Marc BettsThe building which housed a number of Watton businesses has been sealed off after a fire. Picture: Marc Betts

The mother-of-two, who did not wish to give her name, was the first to warn neighbouring businesses that a fire was tearing through Beijing Diner, a Chinese restaurant, on Watton High Street.

She described how she saw billowing smoke when she was having coffee with two friends at The Italian Job before the school run - and immediately leapt into action.

She said: "I just belted straight through the on-going traffic to the other side of the road to get to the street. I first went into Cookies Café and told them the roof was on fire and got them to get out. They were completely shocked as they hadn't realised.

"My brain just went into complete overdrive. I didn't want anyone to die or to get injured. I just wanted to make sure everyone was safe."

Police at the fire in Watton's High Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPolice at the fire in Watton's High Street. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The woman said she warned around 30 people in ten minutes from newsagent Edwards News to accountant Arden Kendall Ltd.

She added: "I went into the casino and no one was there. I then went to Beijing Diner and the owners were upstairs trying to put the fire out but it was impossible as the fire had just overtaken the whole building.

While the woman went to each business, her friends, with whom she had been having coffee, wore high visibility jackets and directed traffic away from the area.

The woman said: "At one point there was a massive explosion, I think it was a gas can and my friends screamed as they thought it was me.

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"We were all panicking and I was petrified the whole time but I just went into auto pilot. I had seen stuff like this on television before and just thought I am going to get into action."

The woman did not need medical assistance.

She added: "I'm still shaking now even though I know I'm safe. I have done a good deed for the day which I am really proud of."

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