Man charged with arson after blaze ripped through flat and gardens

Police at the scene of the fire at a flat in Metamec Drive in Dereham, believed to have started in a

Police at the scene of a fire in Metamec Drive, Dereham - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A man in his 40s has been charged with arson after an early hours blaze left a flat and gardens badly damaged. 

Emergency services were called to Metamec Drive, off South Green in Dereham, at around 1.30am on Tuesday (October 19) morning. 

As the alarm was raised and families evacuated their homes, firefighters spent just over an hour at the scene as flames tore through sheds and fences and spread to an adjacent flat.

Residents later reported hearing "a big bang" before seeing the orange glow of flames as they tore through a number of back gardens.

Police and fire investigation officers at the scene of the fire at a flat in Metamec Drive in Dereha

Fire investigation officers attempt to establish the cause of the blaze in Metamec Drive, Dereham - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Police and the fire service subsequently launched a joint investigation in a bid to establish how the fire was started.

Robert Smith, of Waples Way in Dereham, has since been charged with arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.

The 42-year-old has been remanded into custody and was due to appear at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (October 20) morning. 

The scene of the fire which affected a flat in Metamec Drive in Dereham, believed to have started in

The fire at Metamec Drive in Dereham caused significant damage to a number of gardens - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

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