Family woken by 'cloud of black smoke and flames' during fire
PUBLISHED: 16:22 24 November 2018
A young mother has described the shock of being woken in the night to the sound of fire "crackling and banging" outside her and her three-year-old daughter's Dereham home.
Leah Brown, 25, described the blaze which woke her and her partner as “a cloud of black smoke with flames in the middle.”
The stay-at-home mum said: “It was the crackling and banging of the fire that woke me.
“Me and my partner were asleep and we were woken up at about 1.50am.
“It took a couple of seconds for us to wake up and I said to my partner ‘what is that?’.
“We just heard the crackling of the fire and people banging on doors so we looked out the back and it was the communal bins behind the flats that were on fire.
“The flames were about four or five metres high.”
Miss Brown, who lives on Girling Road, Dereham with her partner, plumber David Turner, 32, and their daughter, Abigail, said: “I felt safe because it was so far away that we didn’t need to panic and rush out.
“It was odd just to wake up to it.
“There were quite a few people running around outside - one of our neighbours was out running around and knocking on doors.
“I just stayed awake until I was sure it was out.”
Miss Brown praised the swift actions of the fire service, and said: “We woke just before two and it was already on fire.
“About 10 or 15 minutes later they turned up and in about 5 minutes they put it out.”
She added: “My daughter slept right though it.
“Her bedroom is on the other side of the house so she was asleep.
“That was another reason why I stayed awake in case it did get worse, so we could get her and leave the house.”
She added: “Luckily there was no damage to any of the houses.
“It was just the communal bins and all the fences, and there were a couple of burn marks on the edge of one of the houses.
“I have no idea how it started. I haven’t heard anything.
“It was quite scary.”
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service sent one fire engine from Dereham to tackle the blaze on Girling Road after being alerted at 1.50am, on Saturday, November 24.
It was described as “a fire in the open” and firefighters “used hose reel jets to extinguish a fire in a refuse container”.