Neighbour ‘heard cries for help’ before rushing to aid of fire victim
PUBLISHED: 14:18 16 July 2019
A neighbour was alerted to a fire which destroyed part of a bungalow after hearing its owner cry repeatedly for help.
The blaze, which happened on Gwyn Crescent in Fakenham, tore through the property's kitchen and conservatory on Monday afternoon.
Fire appliances from Fakenham, Holt, King's Lynn and Wells attended, along with the aerial ladder platform from Lynn.
The occupant - a lady said to be in her 60s - was at home when the fire began, but had escaped by the time emergency services arrived. She was subsequently checked over by paramedics as a precaution.
One neighbour said he had "never seen anything like it" on the road, while another suspected the property would not be habitable for "several months" due to the damage.
Peter Lambert, who lives just a few doors along from the affected bungalow, was first to hear the initial commotion and immediately rushed to the woman's aid.
"I was in my garden and thought I could smell a barbecue," said Mr Lambert, a resident on the road for three years. "But then I heard cries of 'help, help, help - my kitchen is on fire.'
"Immediately I ran over and went round the back of the house to help get her outside, and then told her to move well away as the smoke was so bad.
"I had another look inside and it looked like the fire had started on the hob, and had spread all along the worktop, up the walls and onto the ceiling. At that point I knew it was too late to do anything about it myself so I called the fire brigade."
On arrival, firefighters worked in pairs using breathing apparatus, main jets and hose reel jets to battle the flames, which affected a 15m x 10m area.
A thermal image camera was used to check for remaining hotspots, before a gas provider checked the area was safe from further incident.
With the woman forced to stay elsewhere for the forseeable future, Mr Lambert said it was fortunate no one was injured.
"It was lucky I was outside and heard what was going on," he added. "The fire could have easily spread much further.
"I was just doing what any other neighbour would do, and if I hadn't it could've been a lot worse."