Thanks to Fakenham’s firefighters were expressed at a service in the town’s parish church on Sunday, one week on from the devastating fire at the former Aldiss building in the town centre.
Rector, the Rev Adrian Bell, said prayers for all those affected by the disaster and presented a cheque for £1,000 to firefighters for the Fire Fighters Charity which cares for present and former members of the service and their families. Mr Bell presented the cheque to watch manager Gary Thorpe, and told worshippers: “I hope never again to have to shout out the words ‘Fire. Get out of the church’.”
Mr Bell told worshippers: “All I can really say is thank God for our firefighters as at one point I really thought the church might burn down. They did exceptionally well to hose the building as the fire raged just yards away from the walls.
“Even with everything happening around us, I can still recall a moment of humour later in the morning which was somehow typically British. With black smoke pouring out of the building someone said: ‘We’re waiting for white smoke and then we’ll know we’ve got a new vicar.’”
Mr Thorpe said: “This was a very rapid fire and with over a hundred firemen and women involved, I must thank the crews from all over the county for their professionalism.”