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Brancaster Staithe in Norfolk left devastated by fire triggered by heatwave on hottest day





First light brought a grim scene in Brancaster Staithe where five homes have been gutted by yesterday's fire triggered by the heatwave.

Fortunately, four of the five homes were waiting for demolition and were not occupied.

Dry and hot conditions caused fires across the county, but Brancaster Staithe was one of the worst affected.

Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111534)
Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111534)

Speaking on BBC Radio Norfolk this morning, the chairman of Brancaster's Parish Council Tom de Winton described the scene of the fires yesterday as looking like something seen on the battlefields of Ukraine rather than north west Norfolk.

He said: "People had hosepipes desperately trying to get fire out of their gardens.

"Five houses were completely burnt out, one of which had residents in, the poor people in their house were absolutely gutted."

Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111524)
Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111524)

The fire started south of Brancaster Staithe in a garden and travelled west towards the village hall.

Mr de Winton described how the village came out in full force to help mitigate the fire.

Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111548)
Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111548)

"The village turned out in force, the traffic management was fantastic and prevented people coming to have a look,"

"We set up an evacuation centre in Brancaster and help was laid on there with the help of local vicars."

Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111536)
Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111536)
Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111523)
Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111523)

"It was a fantastic effort, but leading the front were the fire brigade, they were great."

The fire and that at Wild Ken Hill in Snettisham were raised in the Houses of Parliament today by MP for North West Norfolk, James Wild.

He told Government minister Kit Malthouse: ""Yesterday, wildfires in North West Norfolk destroyed properties in Brancaster Staithe and also destroyed habitats and wildlife at the famous Wild Kent Hill estate which is well known from hosting the BBC Springwatch.

"So, can I put on record my constituents' immense thanks to Norfolk Fire Service and the other emergency services as well as all those in the local community who helped to tackle these blazes in such awful circumstances and they will recover, and rebuild those communities And in doing so will he also reinforce our commitment to achieve Net Zero so we are better protected against Climate change."

Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111527)
Serious Fire at Brancaster Staith Norfolk.. (58111527)

Mr Malthouse, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: "Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service was severely tested yesterday and indeed, did receive mututal aid, I think, from as far afield as Merseyside to help them in that battle and they will stay, I understand, in situ, to make sure that Norfolk Fire and Rescue can get back on its feet and deal with anything that may come in the next few days.

"I think while we are very focussed on the continuing elevated risk of wild fires he's quite right that the long term work for us both to make our own contribution to the battle against climate change but to frankly lead the world and to challenge some of the biggest polluters in the world to change their habits and their uses of fuels is absolutely critical and I know in Parliaments to come he will be at the forefront of that fight."

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service declared a major incident in the county and said the past couple of days had been "challenging".

Norfolk fire and Rescue have advised people against lighting barbecues and starting their own fires.

Were you affected by any of the fires in Norfolk yesterday? Let us know by emailing newsdesk@lynnnews.co.uk



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