A bin store for a block of flats in Dereham has been left burnt to a cinder following a suspected arson attack.

Police were called to reports of the arson in Metamec Drive, off South Green, at around 9.15pm on Monday (October 10) night.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing flames and smoke billowing from the building and heard fire crews arriving at the scene.

One person, who asked to remain anonymous, "We were alerted to the fire just after 9pm.

"I could hear the crackling from my bedroom.

"The fire brigade were called and two engines arrived shortly after. They spent quite a while putting the fire out."

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said the fire had started in a bin before spreading to the brick building.

Crews from Dereham fire station arrived at the scene at 9.25pm after receiving a 999 call.

They wore breathing apparatus and used hoses to extinguish the fire. A thermal imaging camera was subsequently used to check for hot spots.

Firefighters left the scene once the scene was considered to be safe, at 9.42pm, but a a 'do not cross' cordon could be seen around the scorched building on Tuesday morning.

Metamec Drive has been no stranger to arson attacks in recent years, with two previous incidents occurring within the past 24 months.

One happened back in December 2020, when petrol was poured through the letterbox of a property, forcing a family to flee their home.

Bradley Buckley, then of Old House Lane, Roydon, was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for his involvement. Laura White, then of Main Road, Fransham, was jailed for three years.

Then, in October last year, an early-hours fire tore through people's homes and gardens on the estate, leaving them badly damaged.

Robert Smith, then of Waples Way, Dereham, was later found guilty of five counts of arson following a trial at King's Lynn Crown Court.

It remains unclear as to whether any of the three incidents are linked.

A police spokesman said the constabulary's enquiries were ongoing.