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Couple run for safety as fire destroys top half of home

PUBLISHED: 08:25 22 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:07 22 April 2019

Flames bursting through the roof of the West Runton house gutted by fire at the weekend.
Picture: DEAN McCROHON

Flames bursting through the roof of the West Runton house gutted by fire at the weekend. Picture: DEAN McCROHON

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A couple had to flee their north Norfolk home during a fire which destroyed the top floor of the property on Easter Sunday.

Fire crews battling to bring the blaze under control
Picture: DEAN McCROHONFire crews battling to bring the blaze under control Picture: DEAN McCROHON

They took refuge in a nearby shop as the fire rapidly took hold.

Fire fighters battled to put out flames shooting four feet from an upstairs window, before tearing down part of a wall to make the property safe.

Flames bursting through the roof of the West Runton house gutted by fire at the weekend.
Picture: DEAN McCROHONFlames bursting through the roof of the West Runton house gutted by fire at the weekend. Picture: DEAN McCROHON

The owners of the detached house, in Station Road, West Runton, between Sheringham and Cromer, were watching television downstairs when they were alerted to the fire by neighbours. The neighbours knocked on the door to let them know there was smoke and flames coming from their bedroom window.

A crew from Sheringham were first on scene.

The remains of the first floor of the West Runton house gutted by fire at the weekend. 
Picture: KAREN BETHELLThe remains of the first floor of the West Runton house gutted by fire at the weekend. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

Appliances from Cromer, Holt, North Walsham and Wells and an ambulance and an aerial ladder platform from Earlham arrived shortly afterwards.

A neighbour, who lives a few doors away from the two-storey house, said he went into the street after hearing sirens just before 5pm.

The remains of the first floor of the West Runton house gutted by fire at the weekend. 
Picture: KAREN BETHELLThe remains of the first floor of the West Runton house gutted by fire at the weekend. Picture: KAREN BETHELL

“You just feel so sorry for the owners, but it's good that nobody was seriously injured,” he said. “There was a lot of smoke and flames and it all happened so quickly – within a matter of 40 minutes, the whole roof was gone. I think that, with the smoke and water damage, it will be a long time before they can move back in.”

Dean McCrohon, who took photographs of the fire, said: “When we drove past, there were a huge amount of flames coming out of the upstairs front window, which began falling apart and dropping to the driveway below.”

Eastern area station manager John Baker, who arrived in Station Road shortly after the Sheringham crew, said the fire had been brought under control within 30 minutes.

“There is then the long process of dampening down and, unfortunately, we had to use a ladder platform to pull part of the gable down as it was structurally unsafe,” he explained.

“It is just awful for the occupants, but although it doesn't seem like it at the time, the good news is that they are fit and well.”

Mr Baker added that the work of the crews attending the incident had been made easier by the use of a drone sent from Wymondham, which had enabled them to identify and dampen down hotspots.

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