Video: Crews still fighting a blaze which ripped through listed building in the Norfolk Broads village of Hickling
PUBLISHED: 07:29 27 December 2014 | UPDATED: 07:29 27 December 2014
Five fire crews are today still tackling a blaze which has gutted a historic hall at the heart of a Norfolk Broads village.
Dozens of firefighters battled the inferno for several hours on Boxing Day night, as the fire ripped through Hickling Hall, a grade II listed building.
The fire sent flames from inside the shell of the building – one of the most prominent in the area – through the roof and into the night sky.
Firefighters were first called at 7.50pm, and the initial crews soon called for help, with crews from Aylsham, Wymondham and Norwich summoned, and an aerial platform brought into action.
The fire service said the blaze affected the second and third floors of the building.
The property is a working farmhouse and is believed to have been in the same family for decades. It is understood that no one was hurt in the blaze.
Parish council chairman Sandra Clarke said: “It’s quite shocking. The whole roof is on fire. I could see it from my house and I live around the corner.
“It made my blood curdle when I went up there.
“It’s not a very pleasant thing for Boxing Day. The owner was not injured as far as I know, and I saw his daughter and they were walking back.
“It’s quite disturbing when you see it because it’s one of the biggest houses in the village.”
Police said they were aware of the fire, but their services were not required.
Victoria Mobbs, another local resident, said she could see the blaze from the back of her house.
She said: “I was in my kitchen. Because it’s so dark, I just caught something in the corner of my eye. I just noticed a blue light, and then I looked and saw this huge fire.”
“It’s a huge fire. The whole thing is on fire. It’s just huge. It’s got lots of smoke coming out of it. The flames are coming out of the top of the building. It’s just huge.”
A fire service investigator was already on the scene last night, even as colleagues were trying to extinguish the flames.
The hall was first given listed status in 1955, and according to English Heritage, it dates back to about 1700.
The organisation’s website described it as having a two storeys and a dormer attic with seven bays, a brick with vitrified headers and slate roof.
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