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Fire crews tackle Unthank Road blaze

PUBLISHED: 09:08 13 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:38 02 July 2010

The Grapevine Gallery.

The Grapevine Gallery.

Sarah Hall

Firefighters today praised a member of the public for spotting a blaze in the roof of a popular Norwich art gallery - which meant fire crews were able to prevent serious damage.

Firefighters today praised a member of the public for spotting a blaze in the roof of a popular Norwich art gallery - which meant fire crews were able to prevent serious damage.

Five fire crews were sent to the blaze at the Grapevine art gallery, next to the Rose Valley Tavern pub, in Unthank Road, just after 8pm last night .

A member of the public called the fire service after spotting smoke coming from the roof of the gallery and crews from Norwich, Earlham, Sprowston and Loddon went to the scene, along with the aerial platform ladder from Earlham.

Watch manager Andrew Bilton, from Norfolk Fire and Rescue, said: “When we got there, there was smoke issuing from the roof through the tiles.

“We were concerned that there were people in the flat above, although fortunately that was not the case. We had crews going in from the front and the back.

“We were called by a member of the public and it was good that they rang, because it had the potential to be quite a serious fire.”

Mr Bilton said the firefighters had cut away part of the roof to tackle the blaze. He said there had been some fire damage, but the rest of the property had mainly suffered only smoke damage.

He said: “The last appliance left at about 11pm, but we went back a bit later to check for hotspots. There was an area of fire damage and quite a bit of smoke damage.”

Police officers were also called to the fire and the cause of the blaze is still being investigated.

The Grapevine gallery, which also has a gallery in Burnham Market, was not open when the fire broke out.

It promotes the work of local artists with changing exhibitions and also sells jewellery, prints, furniture, textiles and ceramics.

Firefighters also tackled a car fire in Thorpe St Andrew last night.

A crew from Sprowston went to St Andrews Avenue just after midnight to reports of a burning car.

They had doused the flames by 1am.

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

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