The worrying scenes that unfolded after a fire broke out at a city apartment block have been revealed.

Seven fire crews were called to Allison Bank, in Geoffrey Watling Way, just after 3am today.

Norwich Evening News: Seven fire crews attended the incidentSeven fire crews attended the incident (Image: Norfolk Fire and Rescue)

The fire had broken out on the external balcony of a flat on the fifth floor of the football stadium side of the seven-storey building.

Ben Smith, 26, was asleep in his bedroom on the first floor when the fire alarm started to ring. 

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"I ran out to the balcony, looked up and saw smoke billowing," he said. 

"My first thought was about the Grenfell disaster.

Norwich Evening News: Ben Smith, who lives in Allison BankBen Smith, who lives in Allison Bank (Image: Ben Smith)

"That's when the panic started to sink in - it was frightening.

"There were seven fire engines outside and the crews were all rushing inside. 

"I shouted down and asked if I needed to evacuate as the people in the floors above us were starting to congregate down in the communal area outside.

"They told us to stay where we were. We tried to get back to sleep but it was impossible.

Norwich Evening News: Firefighters are said to have run into the building after seeing smoke billowingFirefighters are said to have run into the building after seeing smoke billowing (Image: Ben Smith)

"It was a scary experience and far worse than anything you see on TV."

Fire crews used an aerial ladder platform to extinguish the fire.

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Occupants of six flats were asked to leave for safety reasons.

The ambulance and police services were also in attendance and one person was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for further assessment and treatment.

Norwich Evening News: Fire crews outside the buildingFire crews outside the building (Image: Ben Smith)

A Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said the cause of the blaze would now be investigated, but police have confirmed it is not being treated as arson.

Norwich Residential Management has also released a statement reassuring tenants that Allison Bank "remains a safe building".

A spokesman said: "The building has been previously surveyed and holds a valid EWS1 B1 certificate regarding external walls, and is registered under BSA [the Building Safety Act].

Norwich Evening News: The balcony belonging to Ben Smith the morning after the fireThe balcony belonging to Ben Smith the morning after the fire (Image: Ben Smith)

"An update will be circulated to all leaseholders and residents regarding this incident.  

"We as managing agents would like to assure all residents that Allison Bank remains a safe building and that if they have any concerns, they should contact us directly."