Man pulled from 'intense fire' at city centre bungalow
PUBLISHED: 17:35 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:10 15 February 2020
Copyright: Archant 2020
Firefighters battled flames and thick black smoke to rescue an unresponsive man, as an "intense" fire ripped through a city centre bungalow.
The fire on Plumstead Road, Norwich, started at around 4.15pm Thursday.
A neighbour alerted emergency services to the blaze after they spotted smoke pouring from the property.
Stuart Herd, watch manager for Sprowston said the fire was burning "intensely" by the time they arrived, and neighbours were concerned a man was trapped inside the building.
Officers wearing breathing apparatus forced their way into the bungalow, and swept the property for casualties.
Inside, Mr Herd said crews battled thick black smoke and intense heat to locate an unresponsive elderly man, who had collapsed due to smoke inhalation.
According to neighbours, the man lives at the property with his son, who returned to the address after police contacted him.
The East Anglian Air Ambulance dropped paramedics at the scene before the elderly man was transferred to the Norfolk and Norwich University by land ambulance.
Mr Herd said he came round shortly after being seen by paramedics.
The exact cause of the fire is not yet known, but is believed to have started in a bedroom.
Mr Herd on: "It's hard to imagine how being in that house would have felt, without all the protective equipment officers use.
"The fire was a fully developed compartment fire, so there was a lot of thick black smoke from duvets, blankets and mattresses burning.
"We don't often have to carry out a life rescue, because smoke detectors tend to alert people to the fire before it gets that far. This highlights the importance of checking smoke alarms weekly."
Fire crews left the property at around 8pm, and hoped to reach a verdict on the cause of the fire by Friday afternoon.
The fire caused minor disruptions to traffic on Thursday evening, as police closed Plumstead Road between Britannia Road and Hillary Avenue until just after 7pm.
First buses were diverted away from the road, resuming normal service as the road reopened.