‘We’ve lost everything’ - Couple’s shock after fire rips through flat

The scene of a flat fire at Mandells Court in Norwich between Princes Street and Waggon and Horses L

The scene of a flat fire at Mandells Court in Norwich between Princes Street and Waggon and Horses Lane. - Credit: Danielle Booden

A young couple say they have lost everything after a devastating fire which ripped through their flat in a matter of minutes. 

Melissa Smith, 20, and Jack Loombe, 19, were enjoying an evening with two friends, who had come over to see their new kitten, when the blaze broke out in an upstairs room. 

Six fire crews were called to Mandells Court, between Princes Street and Waggon and Horses Lane, at 8.42pm on Monday. 

Fire crews are on the scene of a flat blaze in Norwich.

Firefighters on the scene of the fire at Mandells Court in Norwich on Monday evening - Credit: Simon Parkin

After trying to extinguish the fire the couple and their friends were forced to flee as flames and arid smoke swept through the building.

Ms Smith said: “We were sitting downstairs, all four of us. We were playing with the kitten and Jack was about to get us some drinks from the kitchen. Then we heard a loud bang and all of the lights flickered. 

“Jack ran upstairs and saw the fire that was in the corner. I got a bucket of water but by that time it had spread to the top of the room.”

The scene of a flat fire at Mandells Court in Norwich between Princes Street and Waggon and Horses L

The scene of a flat fire at Mandells Court in Norwich between Princes Street and Waggon and Horses Lane. - Credit: Danielle Booden


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Mr Loombe added: “It was thick black with smoke and we couldn’t breathe. I ran downstairs and we got everyone out. I told all the neighbours there was a fire and they came out and also helped knock on everyone’s doors.

“The fire brigade were there within minutes, so amazing respect to them.”

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The couple said the blaze has destroyed virtually all their possessions.

“We have lost everything,” said Ms Smith. “Family items and my memory boxes that we kept under our bed are gone. All of our clothes we have lost too. We worked hard for everything we had in that home.” 

Fire investigators were probing the cause of the blaze on Tuesday but the couple believe the cause may have been an electrical fault. 

A fire inspector remained on scene to investigate the cause of the blaze on Tuesday morning

A fire inspector was on scene to investigate the cause of the blaze on Tuesday morning - Credit: Danielle Booden

The young couple's neighbour Amie Marie said she had knocked on their door to alert them to the fire, which also caused damage to the roof of an adjoining property. 

She added: "They are the most lovely couple who are so kind. The hardest thing was seeing the pain they were in.

"They are very hard-working and everything they have is from earning it. They are very particular about what they buy and are very house-proud with lots of vintage items and vinyl collections."

A Just Giving page has been set up to raise £1,000 for the couple which can be found at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jack-and-mel-and-bemo

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