Tracey Swann, who has been named locally as the victim of a fatal house fire, was today hailed the hero of the Heacham Fire Station, which she relentlessly battled to save earlier this year.
Emma-Rose Hooker said: “Her hard work and generosity saved Heacham Fire Station and now we know just how important that little Station is.
“Bless her family and our brave local firefighters too.”
Lynne Kelly added: “Kept praying last night that they’d find her not at home with all the call-outs on here for her.
“My heart goes out to her poor son. They both seem such charitable and lovely people.
“And the poor woman was influential in keeping Heacham fire station open, yet she couldn’t be saved. Must have been awful for the fire crews too.
“Absolutely heartbreaking and proof that we have absolutely no idea what’s around the corner for us.”
Daniel Parton, vice chairman of the Heacham Parish Council, said Tracey “put a shift in for everyone in the village” and described her death as a “real tragedy”.
He said: “Tracey did lots for everyone in the village, she always put her hand up first when it came to volunteering.
“She always wanted to help everyone in any way that she could and was a truly inspirational woman.
“She would always put her personal life on hold to help others to make sure what needed to happen, happened.
“Her contribution will be sorely missed, there’s no two ways about that. She put a shift in for everyone in the village.
“She will be incredibly missed by a lot of people and it will probably take two, three, four people to carry out the work she did.”
Mr Parton told how representatives from Heacham Fire Station approached Tracey when they were threatened with closure.
He said: “They knew who got the job done around here so went to her for help.
“She spent more than a year campaigning on their behalf and did a great job.
“The people who work there are local people who live in the village so it meant a lot to everyone for the station to stay open.”
Mr Parton said they had been given no clues as to how the fire started, but said the community had already started to rally round to donate funds for Tracey’s family.
He added: “We want to help Tracey’s son and mother out as much as possible after what has been a real tragedy.
“Their two dogs managed to survive the fire, which hopefully will come as some comfort to them.
“We will support them and the fire investigators in any way we can while they carry out their work to find out how the fire started, as the community comes to terms with the death of such a selfless person.”
Claire Pike, secretary of the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) for several high schools in the Heacham area, described Tracey as “a campaigner and absolute star”.
She said: “Tracey was instrumental in setting up the PTA three years years ago, helping to raise thousands of pounds for the benefit of the students of Smithdon High School.
“She really was a campaigner and absolute star.”
A spokesman for Norfolk Police said the force is continuing to work with Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service following the fatal fire.
The spokesman added: “Officers were called to assist the fire service at 8.20pm following reports of a fire at a property in Caley Street.
“Sadly a woman inside the property at the time of the fire died.
“The cause of the fire has yet to be determined; however, the building remains unstable at this time and a police cordon is in place.
“A structural survey of the property will be carried out before the scene can be declared safe for investigators.”