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Fire tears through historic buildings in Fakenham

Fire crews at scene in Fakenham Photo: ITV Anglia

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An historic row of shops and flats has been gutted by fire in the centre of Fakenham.

The shop should have been busy with customers but instead it was drawing fire fighters from all over the county as flames took hold.

The alarm was raised at 10.30 this morning - the severe nature of the fire in the Original Factory Shop quickly apparent.

Fire crews had to lead several people to safety - they said only one person needed treatment for breathing in smoke - no-one else was hurt.

Two aerial ladders had to be brought in and at the height of the fire a total of ninety firefighters from all corners of Norfolk were on the scene. They managed to stop the flames spreading further: a challenge in such an historic buildings, where timber is the main support for the structure.

Fire tears through the old Aldiss building Credit: ITV Anglia
The old Aldiss building in flames Credit: ITV Anglia

The fire sent thick clouds of smoke billowing above Fakenham - they could be seen from 10 miles away. Police closed roads to keep people at a safe distance and there were reports of long tailbacks for drivers.

Eighty worshippers at Sunday service in the nearby church had to leave, while a care home was evacuated by police.

The historic shop was home to Aldiss's fashion store until 2008 when the company moved to larger premises in the town.

Some witnesses suggested the fire had started in a car outside the shop - the fire service say there'll be a full investigation. They're expected to remain at the scene overnight..

Fire crews outside the burning shop in Fakenham Credit: ITV Anglia

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