Sky 'engulfed in orange' as huge fire spreads along city street

Neighbours in Mile Cross Lane were woken up to the sight of flames at a property and the neighbouring Enterprise building.

Neighbours in Mile Cross Lane were woken up to the sight of roaring flames at a property and the neighbouring Enterprise building. - Credit: Elizabeth Boylan

Neighbours in a busy road were woken to the sound of wailing sirens and the sight of flames erupting into the sky last night.

The major junction between Mile Cross Lane, Boundary Road, and Cromer Road was blocked by emergency services on April 16 after a fire broke out in a property.

Fire crew tackled the flames from above outside the house where it started in Mile Cross Lane.

Fire crew tackled the flames from above outside the house where it started in Mile Cross Lane. - Credit: Elizabeth Boylan

Although the fire began in a private garden in Mile Cross Lane, it spread to neighbouring Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

A member of staff at the building confirmed the incident. 

David Forks, who lives directly opposite the car rental, said: "I was in bed and noticed some flickering outside.

"First I thought it was just a street lamp but when I looked out the bedroom window I saw the fire behind the house.

David Forks, who lives directly opposite the Enterprise site in Mile Cross Lane.

David Forks, who lives directly opposite the Enterprise site in Mile Cross Lane. - Credit: Francis Redwood

"I called 999 but in the meantime I watched as the flames went up over the fence of the garden and spread right up to the Enterprise building's sign.

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"There was a lot of flames and smoke but thankfully it was blowing away from me, towards Cromer Road."

Crews from Sprowston, Earlham, Wroxham, Hethersett, Aylsham, Wymondham and Long Stratton were called to the scene near the Boundary junction at 10.56pm.

Elizabeth Boylan, a mother of three, saw more emergency services arrive outside the house in Mile Cross Lane.

Elizabeth Boylan, a mother of three, saw more emergency services arrive outside the house in Mile Cross Lane. - Credit: Elizabeth Boylan

Elizabeth Boylan, who lives in Mile Cross Lane, said: "I noticed that there was a fire engine outside and that they had people going round the back of the property.

"I noticed the fire then appeared to be spreading upwards as more fire and police vehicles started to arrive."

The fire which hit Enterprise Car & Van Hire in Mile Cross Lane, started around 11pm on April 16.

The fire which hit Enterprise in Mile Cross Lane, started around 11pm on April 16. - Credit: Elizabeth Boylan

The mum-of-three added: "The fire service had a cherry picker out to get above the flames behind the property and put them out."

Firefighters had to wear breathing apparatus, using main and hose reel jets to battle the flames for nearly two hours.

Christopher Doole, a factory worker, was woken up to the sound of the fire.

He added: "I was falling asleep when I heard these pops and bangs.

Christopher Doole, who lives in Mile Cross Lane, said the flames were so loud: "I actually thought it was a gunshot."

Christopher Doole, who lives in Mile Cross Lane, said the flames were so loud: "I actually thought it was a gunshot." - Credit: Francis Redwood

"I actually thought it was a gunshot or something - that's how loud it was.

"I looked out and the sky was engulfed in orange. I couldn't see anything until the fire spread to the Enterprise sign and that's when I saw the actual flames."

The fire service called a stop at 12.51am.

After tackling the fire in Mile Cross Lane the fire service called a stop at 12.51am.

After tackling the fire in Mile Cross Lane the fire service called a stop at 12.51am. - Credit: Elizabeth Boylan