‘The most frightening thing I have ever seen’ - reader’s memories of Fakenham fire

PUBLISHED: 15:01 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 15:01 28 May 2019

The scene of the Fakenham fire on the following Monday morning at about 11.30am. Photo: Polly Warnes

The scene of the Fakenham fire on the following Monday morning at about 11.30am. Photo: Polly Warnes

Polly Warnes

Five years on from the worst fire in Fakenham for 500 years, one reader shared his memories of that dramatic day...

We were in church and the service started but the Rector was absent.

He then came in the door and said that there was a fire outside and that we should evacuate by the fire exit into St Peter's garden where we would be safe.

Two of us then helped those who had mobility scooters, then my wife, her sister and I took a safe route into the street, leaving some folk to take the paintings and the silverware to safety.

As we got into the street then the windows blew out - the most frightening thing I have ever seen.

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At that point fires engines from King's Lynn arrived. How is that for efficiency?

Because of all the hoses across the road we had to wait a while before we could go home in the car.

When we arrived home, about two miles east of the town, we found that ash from the fire was covering our garden.

After lunch I cycled into town to find the Aldiss building was reduced to a shell.

Some of the decorative brickwork from the front of the building was undamaged and is now in the Fakenham Museum of Gas and Local History.

Jim Baldwin, Fakenham

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