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Man raises alarm after Norwich flat fire - and then suffers car break-in

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:20 01 July 2010

Jon Welch

A quick-thinking member of the public raised the alarm after spotting a flat on fire, only to return to his car to find it had been broken into.

Glen Lemmon dialled 999 from his mobile phone when he saw flames coming from the window of a first-floor flat in Blackfriars Street, Norwich, in the early hours of the morning.

A quick-thinking member of the public raised the alarm after spotting a flat on fire, only to return to his car to find it had been broken into.

Glen Lemmon dialled 999 from his mobile phone when he saw flames coming from the window of a first-floor flat in Blackfriars Street, Norwich, in the early hours of the morning.

The drama unfolded at about 12.40am on Saturday. Mr Lemmon, 53, had spent the evening at The Mischief on Fye Bridge Street and was returning to his car to pick up his jacket before heading to other venues in the city.

“I was walking along Fishergate when I saw a flash in the corner of my eye,” he said.

“I looked up and saw flames going up the curtains of one of the flats on the corner. As I got my phone out and dialled 999, I saw the whole room go up in a fireball.”

Mr Lemmon, who is due to undergo open heart surgery at Papworth Hospital, near Cambridge, in the next few weeks, then rang doorbells in the block to alert neighbours.

A woman let him in and told him she thought a man was in the burning flat. Mr Lemmon, a divorced father-of two, was preparing to enter the burning flat when firefighters arrived.

“There was a horrible toxic smell. Then a fire engine came round the corner, and they got the hoses out and went straight in to the flat”, he said.

Mr Lemmon, of Spixworth, watched as a man was rescued and treated by paramedics. He then returned to his Ford Fiesta, parked nearby.

But he found the nearside window had been smashed and a wash bag and gift voucher stolen from the car.

“I'm pleased I was in the right place at the right time and was able to help. As for the car getting broken into, it is annoying but I suppose it's just one of those things,” he said.

Mr Lemmon, a mechanic, is currently on sick leave from his job at the Number One Motor Company on Heartsease Lane, ahead of his operation.

A spokesman for East of England Ambulance Service said a man was treated for the effects of smoke inhalation, but was not taken to hospital.

A spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “Having spoken to our control room, it is clear that the swift actions of Mr Lemmon meant our crews were on scene very quickly and able to tackle the fire.

“In the flat they found a man suffering from the effects of smoke and he was treated by paramedics. In any situation such as this seconds can be vital and Mr Lemmon did exactly the right thing in acting swiftly and calling 999. It meant our crews were faced with a serious situation rather than a potentially tragic one.

“We're sorry to hear his car was broken into, especially after he acted so quickly and conscientiously in raising the alarm.”

Do you know someone who has acted quickly to save others? Contact reporter Jon Welch on 01603 772476 or email jon.welch@archant.co.uk

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