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Neighbours speak of arson attack at Sheringham flats

PUBLISHED: 12:14 02 May 2018 | UPDATED: 13:20 02 May 2018

The scene at the flats this morning. Pictures: David Bale

The scene at the flats this morning. Pictures: David Bale

Archant

Neighbours have spoken of watching a dramatic rescue from a block of flats in Sheringham, which is being treated as arson.

The scene at the flats today. The windows are still open. Pictures: David BaleThe scene at the flats today. The windows are still open. Pictures: David Bale

Emergency services were called to reports of a fire on Cromer Road, next to the Tesco supermarket, at about 9.50pm yesterday.

Neighbours said a woman living at one of the flats had to be rescued by firefighters down a ladder while another occupant, a man, was able to escape by himself.

Police officers confirmed today that the incident was being treated as arson and a police forensics van is on scene. The area behind the flats is also cordoned off with police tape.

David Berry, who lives in Kimberley Court, opposite the site, said: “We saw the fire engines, the ambulance and the police cars. They brought a lady down on a ladder.”

The scene this morning.  Pictures: David BaleThe scene this morning. Pictures: David Bale

Other neighbours also saw the rescue of the woman, who was blonde and believed to be aged between 25 and 30, although they could not describe what she was wearing or how upset she was.

John Baker, Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service station manager, said: “We were called about 9.50pm.

“Smoke was issuing from a building and the upstairs windows were open. The fire was in one of the flats.

“We put three appliances on and then added an extra when we were told persons were involved. Crews from Sheringham, Cromer, Holt and North Walsham attended. We put a ladder up to bring down a woman, who was aged between 25 and 30. She was fine.

A fire broke out at a block of flats in Sheringham last night. PIcture: Sarah ThomasA fire broke out at a block of flats in Sheringham last night. PIcture: Sarah Thomas

“A man at the back of the flats had already come out. We believe the lady has gone to stay with parents or relatives. The flats are not inhabitable as they are smoke-logged. No-one was taken to hospital.”

The flats are owned by Tesco and privately rented, while Norfolk County Council’s Independence matters is based downstairs at the building, known as Sheringham Community Hub.

Neighbour Sarah Thomas tweeted at 10.29pm yesterday: “Flats on fire in Sheringham! People being brought out down ladders. Thankfully doesn’t look to be anyone hurt.”

The East of England Ambulance Service said they cared for one man.

The scene at the flats this morning. Pictures: David BaleThe scene at the flats this morning. Pictures: David Bale

The fire had been brought under control by 10.50pm.

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