Concern after 10 fire engines called to former coroner's court

Fire crews were called to Eastgate House in Thorpe Road. Picture inset is Phil Cooper, a lettings partner for Arnolds Keys

Fire crews were called to Eastgate House in Thorpe Road. Picture inset is Phil Cooper, a lettings partner for Arnolds Keys - Credit: Contributed/Arnolds Keys

A community has passed on its well wishes to tenants after multiple fire engines descended on a flat in the city.

A total of 10 fire crews were called to Eastgate House in Thorpe Road just after 7pm on Saturday

The building dates back to the 1960s and was converted from an office into residential use after planning permission was first granted in 2013. 

Eastgate House before the development.

Eastgate House before the development. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A staff member at the Coach and Horses Pub in Thorpe Road said he saw fire engines as he was walking home from work. 

"I was wondering what they were doing when I saw them near the traffic lights," he added.

Mary White, who lives in Yarmouth Road, worked in Eastgate House until 1989 and remembers it being opened as an office block in 1963.

She said: "I would have thought they could get out easily when there is a fire because there was at least three ways out when it was an office.

"There were certainly no fires when I was there.

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"I do not know exactly how it is configured now but there were central corridors and central stairs as well as a fire escape at the back." 

Arnolds Keys is among the estate agents which lets out flats at Eastgate House.

Phil Cooper, a lettings partner for Arnolds Keys, said: "I heard there was something happening there. As long as everyone is safe that is the main thing." 

Phil Cooper, lettings partner at Arnolds Keys, smiling at the camera

Phil Cooper, lettings partner at Arnolds Keys - Credit: Arnolds Keys

A Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman confirmed at 8.10pm on Saturday that the incident was being "scaled down" and no emergency services remained at the scene. 

The spokeswoman could not confirm if people were evacuated but added that an ambulance was called on stand-by only.

Ben Price, Green city and county councillor for the Thorpe Hamlet ward, said he had not heard anything about the fire but would be keeping an eye on any communication he receives over it.

Green city councillor Ben Price. Picture: Norwich City Council

Green city councillor Ben Price. Picture: Norwich City Council - Credit: Norwich City Council

Staff from both the nearby Norwich Hotel in Thorpe Road and the Revado Hotel in the adjacent Stracey Road also said they had not heard or seen anything in connection with the fire.

Fire crews were called to a blaze in Thorpe Road, Norwich

Fire crews were called to a blaze in Thorpe Road, Norwich - Credit: Supplied

Eastgate House has been used as a coroner's court in the past.