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Neighbour tells of attempts to rescue man from tragic Caister house fire

PUBLISHED: 13:07 06 June 2019 | UPDATED: 13:39 06 June 2019

A man has died following a house fire in Caister on Sea. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

A man has died following a house fire in Caister on Sea. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

The neighbour of a man who died in a house fire has described his son's and daughter's rescue attempts after a family party was interrupted by the blaze.

A man died in a house fire on Covent Garden Road in Caister on June 2. Picture: Daniel Hickey. A man died in a house fire on Covent Garden Road in Caister on June 2. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Emergency services rushed to Caister last Sunday (June 2) at 2pm following reports of a fire at a property on Covent Garden Road.

Les Smith, 67, lives in the house next door, a detached bungalow.

He had arranged a party that afternoon in his house with relatives arriving from around the county.

His daughter was arriving from Norwich at about 1.45pm but when passing the neighbour's house noticed there was a fire inside, Mr Smith said.

A man has died following a house fire in Caister on Sea. Picture: Jamie HoneywoodA man has died following a house fire in Caister on Sea. Picture: Jamie Honeywood

His daughter called the emergency services and a first responder quickly arrived.

The door was opened and smoke came out of the house, he said.

Mr Smith added: "My eldest son and daughter helped drag the man out."

They also helped to give CPR to the victim of the fire, he said.

A man died in a house fire on Covent Garden Road in Caister on June 2. Picture: Daniel Hickey. A man died in a house fire on Covent Garden Road in Caister on June 2. Picture: Daniel Hickey.

Fire brigades from Gorleston and Great Yarmouth arrived, followed by East of England Ambulance Service, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr Smith said the man was "quiet".

"He kept himself to himself. I knew him to say hello," he said.

He added that the man was in his 50s.

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Other neighbours said they did not know him at all.

The area's postman, Ross Goodwin, 29, said he had posted letters to the victim's house but had never seen him.

Crowds had gathered outside the property in the aftermath of the blaze on Sunday evening while forensic officers cordoned off the house with police tape.

One neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "I don't like to earwig because I always think 'what if someone is hurt' or 'what if there's a cat in there', but I have never seen so many officers and firefighters and ambulance crews. I jumped out of my skin."

Norfolk Constabulary has said that enquiries into the circumstances of the fire are ongoing.

The police tape has since been removed from around the house but the smell of smoke still hung in the air on Thursday (June 6).

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Norfolk police on 101 quoting reference CAD 255 of 2 June 2019.

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