Emergency services rushed to a Norwich coffee shop after a fire and a small explosion.

Shortly after 3pm yesterday, a “massive bang” was heard by staff in the Nelson Hotel branch of Costa Coffee, on the Prince of Wales Road.

“The next thing we knew, we had smoke coming in through our fire exit door,” said one Costa staff member, who added that they did not think anyone had been hurt.

The fire set alight the belongings of homeless people, who have been known to congregate in the space between the coffee shop and an unoccupied set of the offices.

The explosion's cause is unclear, although one witness thought it may have been an aerosol.

Fire crews from Carrow and Sprowston stations were called to the scene at 3.24pm and used hose reel jets to rapidly extinguish the fire by 3.33pm.

Police are understood to have been on the scene, and assisted fire officers in directing pedestrians away from the building.