Shock as former leisure centre near Norwich destroyed by large fire

A house in Pound Lane, Norwich, is ablaze.

A building in Pound Lane, Norwich, is ablaze. - Credit: Submitted

A derelict former leisure centre near Norwich has been severely damaged by a large fire.

Fire crews have been tackling the blaze at the former Oasis Sports and Leisure Club in Thorpe St Andrew.

A total of 10 fire engines were called to Pound Lane on Saturday (April 9) evening just after 6.30pm.

Thick smoke was seen billowing from the site.

Smoke seen billowing from the building ablaze in Pound Lane, Norwich.

Smoke seen billowing from the building ablaze in Pound Lane, Norwich. - Credit: Submitted

Trevor Wiggett, who lives nearby, said he heard lots of loud sirens and ran to the window to find out what had happened.

He said: "I could see thick smoke going over the Dussindale area coming from the Oasis.

"I went for a closer look and saw that most of the roof had collapsed into the building.

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"Firefighters were breaking windows so they could get water in the building and put the fire out."

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service have urged people to avoid the area.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service have urged people to avoid the area. - Credit: Submitted

Ian Mackie, Broadland district councillor, for Thorpe St Andrew North West, said he was saddened by the blaze at the Oasis building.

He said: “It is really shocking to see this former much-loved site on flames. My thanks go to all the emergency services involved in the response. 

Cllr Ian Mackie, Broadland District Councillor, Thorpe St Andrew North West.

Cllr Ian Mackie, Broadland District Councillor, Thorpe St Andrew North West. - Credit: Ian Mackie

"Sadly this fire follows a long line of cherished and historical sites that have been destroyed by fires once they become empty and earmarked for development, such as Pinebanks House, Langley School, The Griffin Public House and Little Plumstead Hall.”

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service urged people to avoid the area and to close windows if living nearby.

In an update at 9.30pm, a fire spokesman said: "The aerial ladder platform is currently in use and is flooding the building from the top."

Appliances from Sprowston, Carrow, Earlham, Wroxham, Great Yarmouth, Gorleston, Wymondham, Hethersett, and Fakenham all attended the scene.

UPDATE: As of 8am on Sunday, one fire engine remains at the site to ensure all burning material is fully extinguished.

This is a breaking news story. Be sure the check back on the website for further updates as they come in. 

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