Early hours blaze tears 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 which affected a flat and gardens in Metamec Drive in Dereham - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A Dereham estate is counting the costs of a serious early hours blaze which has left a flat and gardens badly damaged. 

Fire crews were called to Metamec Drive, off South Green, at around 1.30am on Tuesday (October 19) morning. 

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

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

Just one property, occupied by Kay - a lady in her 30s - suffered significant damage.

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 the fire at a flat in Metamec Drive in Dereham, believed to have started in a shed - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Kay, who gave only her first name, was startled to hear banging at her door in the middle of the night. 

"It was probably at around 1.30am when I heard someone outside shouting my name, and at first I didn't take any notice of it," said the 32-year-old.

Most Read

"But then I got a whiff of burning, so I opened the door at the top of my stairs and it was just billowing with smoke. 

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

Police and fire investigation officers at the scene of the fire at a flat in Metamec Drive in Dereham - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"I came outside and the next thing I saw was flames everywhere - and the side of my flat was all burnt."

Kay, who left only "with the clothes on my back", said the impact on her home had mainly been smoke damage. 

"The carpets and flooring are ruined, but that doesn't bother me because things like that are replaceable," she added.

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

The scene of the fire which affected a flat in Metamec Drive in Dereham, believed to have started in a shed - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"There are loads of kids living round here, so what matters is that they're okay."

Among those to hear the overnight commotion was Dee Manning, whose own flat backs onto the affected area. 

"To be honest I initially thought the noise was a load of drunk people," she said.

"But then we had a knock at our door and I looked out the kitchen window and just saw flames and smoke. 

Neighbour, Dee Manning, speaks about the fire in Metamec Drive in Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Neighbour, Dee Manning, speaks about the fire in Metamec Drive in Dereham - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

"My son's bedroom is at the back of the flat so that's what really scared me."

Miss Manning's neighbour, Michelle Copsey, added: "I heard a noise but couldn't see anything when I first looked out of the blinds. 

"All of a sudden there was this big bang and that's when I saw the flames.

"We went down and just started banging on doors to get everybody out." 

Neighbour, Michelle Copsey, speaks about the fire in Metamec Drive in Dereham. Picture: DENISE BRADL

Neighbour, Michelle Copsey, speaks about the fire in Metamec Drive in Dereham - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter