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Fire ravaged Norwich property used to be city centre drugs den, according to neighbours

PUBLISHED: 08:53 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 08:53 02 October 2018

Scene of fire in Coslany Street, Norwich. PIC: Peter Walsh.

Scene of fire in Coslany Street, Norwich. PIC: Peter Walsh.

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A property which was ravaged by fire was formerly a city centre drugs den, it has emerged.

Fire on Coslany Street in Norwich. Photo: Simon ParkinFire on Coslany Street in Norwich. Photo: Simon Parkin

An investigation is under way after fire tore through a three-storey house in Coslany Street house in Norwich on Saturday.

Brave passers-by kicked in the front door in a desperate attempt to discover if there were people trapped inside.

No-one was inside the property at the time of the fire but it has since emerged that the house was a popular haunt for “crackheads”.

One woman living near to the city council-owned property, who did not want to be named, said it was empty as the tenant had moved out a couple of weeks ago.

Fire in Coslany Street, Norwich (Image: George Fayers)Fire in Coslany Street, Norwich (Image: George Fayers)

But despite being empty 
she said the back door had 
been left open and people were able to get inside.

The 58-year-old said: “It has been a bit of a drugs den before.”

Leona Whitworth, 23, who lives in nearby Barnard’s Yard, said she saw smoke “billowing” from the property at the weekend before the “whole window came out”. Miss Whitworth, who is pregnant, said the property had been popular with drugs users.

She claimed: “That’s where all the crackheads and smackheads go”.

A woman in her 60s, who did not want to be named, said she had not realised the property was empty at the time of the fire.

She said there had been problems associated with the property for years during which time there had been three or four “drugs raids”.

After the fire broke out, at about 2pm on Saturday, fire crews from Earlham, Carrow, Sprowston and Hethersett attended to extinguish the blaze.

A fire service investigation has begun into what started the fire although no cause has yet been confirmed.

Police officers also attended and stood guard at the front and back of the building while forensics officers were also called.

A spokesman for Norwich City Council said they could not give an official comment.

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