Young couple, baby and cat escape house fire
PUBLISHED: 15:36 01 August 2020 | UPDATED: 14:04 02 August 2020
Houses in a quiet Dereham cul-de-sac have been seriously damaged after a large fire.
Crews from Dereham and Hingham were called at 2.30pm on Friday, July 30 after the blaze in two buildings in Diana Close in Toftwood.
Firefighters used hose reels and wore breathing apparatus and also used a thermal imaging camera to check for hot spots.
The owner of one of the houses, Jarl Barnes, 57, arrived at the scene after hearing from a neighbour that the home where his late father lived, was in flames.
“I now rent out the home to a young couple who have a baby and a cat,” Mr Barnes said. “I got a call on my phone from my neighbour while I was at the pub telling me the house was on fire.
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“When I got there were fire engines and lots of damage, around the door was melted, there was lots of smoke damage and the decking looked like charcoal from a barbecue.
“All of the family living in the home managed to escape unharmed and so did the neighbours. One woman three doors down did have to go to hospital for some inhalation.”
Just two weeks ago Mr Barnes was caught up in the Ryanair bomb threat on a flight from London to Oslo.
He said: “In the last year my mum, dad, best friend and dog have all died and I have been caught up in a bomb threat. I was waiting for what was going to happen next.
“It’s unbelievable, I’m so happy that nobody was hurt or injured but it’s really upsetting as this house was the bought for my father when he moved to the UK from Norway.
“I find going back to the house difficult because of his death.”
Insurers have been back to board up the houses while an investigation takes place to see what started the fire.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service have confirmed that the blaze is not being treated as suspicious.
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