Community pulls together after Marshland St James house fire

House fire at Marshland St James ANL-150427-162413009
House fire at Marshland St James ANL-150427-162413009
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A community is pulling together to help neighbours rebuild their lives after a devastating house fire.

Scores of firefighters from across West Norfolk were called to two homes in Trinity Road, Marshland St James, on Friday morning.

Now people living in Marshland St James and the surrounding area are rallying around to help neighbours Amy Smith, and her family, and Richard Cavill, whose semi-detached homes have been devastated by the blaze.

Villagers rallied around to raise £554.98 during a fete on Saturday organised to help the families and a Facebook page has also been started to support the families.

One of the people behind the page is Emma Whiting, who was inspired to help after seeing the fire.

She said: “People go on with their everyday lives but when something like this happens, the community pulls together.

“The families have been humbled and truly amazed by the response from the community.”

Builder Phil Doughty, of Walsoken, has stepped forward to help rebuild the right property but is appealing for help.

Earlier this year Mr Doughty and friend Robert MacLaren made three-year Summer-Louise Chapman’s dreams come true by creating a Frozen themed bedroom. Summer suffers from a rare medical condition.

Mr Doughty, who has also suffered the pain of a house fire, has already sourced a new kitchen and bathroom but is looking for plumbers, brick layers and roofers to help.

He said: “The support from the community has been fantastic and it will get stronger.

“I had found that if people can offer their hands to help or £20 it can really make a difference.”

Firefighters from Lynn, Wisbech, West Walton and Fakenham were called to the blaze at 8.16am on Friday.

The blaze is believed to have started in the lounge of the left property and spread into the roof.

It also moved into the neighbouring property’s roof.

Luckily, everyone was able to get out safely and firefighters only had to rescue a parrot from the right property.

Station manager Bob Ayres said: “It was a very serious fire which has totally destroyed one half of the semi detached property.

“By the time the first crews arrived, the fire had broken through the roof and was spreading.

“The fire was so severe, we couldn’t or wouldn’t put fire crews in there.

“There were no injuries and considering the scale of the fire, it was extinguished relatively quickly.”

The cause of the fire is believed to be an electrical fire.

If you would like to offer your services to help Mr Doughty with the rebuilding, contact him on 0783 5238223.

Alternatively you can offer help by going to:

An online funding page has also been started. You can make a donation by going to: