Community rocked by death of elderly woman in bungalow blaze

Police at the scene of a fatal house fire in Hemsby.Picture: Nick Butcher

Police at the scene of a fatal house fire in Hemsby.Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A coastal community is in shock after an elderly woman died after a fire ripped through her home.

The woman died on Sunday night as the blaze gutted her bungalow in Hemsby.

The fire, which was reported at 7.12pm, saw neighbours in Ormesby Glebe and neighbouring Fakes Road being told to close their windows due to the smoke and fumes pouring from the bungalow as immediate neighbours had to leave their homes.

Today the gutted home was cordoned off as the Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service carried out an investigation, with the assistance of a detective from Norfolk police.

Terry Stone, 60, and his family had to leave their home, which saw some damage caused by the fire.

He said: “I think it was about 7.30pm. We were all sitting here and then I heard some cracking sounds and thought it was fireworks.

“I could then see all the flames and the smoke.”

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Mr Stone said his elderly neighbour did have children and she was a “lovely lady”. He added: “Obviously I am saddened by what has happened.”

The fire damaged one of Mr Stone’s windows, melted part of his home’s facia and melted part of its roof.

A female neighbour, who did not want to be named and had dialled 999, said her husband had got a hosepipe from their shed ready in case the fire spread to their home.

She added: “They (the emergency services) stopped us from going outside because of the smoke and asbestos.

“I think it is an awful and terrible thing that has happened.”

Carlie Grey, 31, was at home with her husband and young daughter when she heard crackling and banging from across the road.

She said: “I thought it was somebody having a bonfire, when I looked out we saw flames and smoke.”

Another neighbour, 91, who did not want to be named, said one of her children would often pick her up and visit her.

He said it was “horrible news” she had died.

Keith Kyriacou, chairman of Hemsby Parish Council, said: My condolences are with the family and the council will help in any way we can.”

Fire engines from Martham, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston and Acle were called out to tackle the blaze.