‘Toughest’ fire in Downham Market says watch manager

The house is Landseer Drive, Downham, after the blaze
The house is Landseer Drive, Downham, after the blaze

Homes in Downham had to be evacuated as firefighters tackled an “intense” blaze which has gutted a home.

People living in Landseer Drive saw flames shooting from the front door of the home as the fire swept through the ground floor on Tuesday night.

Crews from Downham, Lynn, Methwold and Terrington St Clement were called in to tackle the intense fire, which had been sparked by an electric fire in the ground floor bedroom.

Watch manager Kim Scotney says the blaze went through the ground floor and reached a stairwell.

Mr Scotney said: “I would say it was one of the toughest fires we have in Downham for a while. House fires are not that common nowadays as people are more safety conscious.

“When we arrived there were flames coming from the front door.

“The fire was quite intense. It was quite tough but we managed to get in there and knock it back quite quickly.

“The fire spread quite quickly. Bedrooms have things like aftershaves which are accelerants as they are alcohol based and fuel the fire. It doesn’t take long to take hold.”

Firefighters were called out just before 11.15pm but Mr Scotney says the fire was put out within the first 20 minutes.

The blaze was sparked by a fault with an electric fire.

The brigade’s aerial ladder platform was called in so firefighters could ventilate the roof and ensure the flames had not spread.

Firefighters were on scene until 3am damping down.

Mr Scotney said: “The ground floor was gutted.”

Imogen Bunten lives nearby and saw the house was on fire after going to make a drink.

She said: “It was scary to see the flames coming out of the door.”

Another neighbour Sophie Tyler was woken by a friend who had run to warn her of the blaze.

She said: “I had gone from pitch black to seeing flames - it was horrifying.

“The fumes and the smell coming from the fire was horrible. The fire brigade were awesome. They went into the house in clean suits and came out black. They hosed each other down.

“They were brilliant.”