An investigation is beginning this morning after a Norfolk fire station was destroyed in a blaze.
The retained fire station at Downham Market has been gutted by fire and the fire engine inside has also been destroyed as a result of the incident which happened at around midnight. Dozens of firefighters from across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire were called to the blaze in the early hours of this morning.
The fire was reported by officers at the nearby police station. Deputy chief fire officer Roy Harrold said, “Normally we go to other people’s fires but tonight we had to go to our own.” He said fire cover would be maintained for the town. Homes near to the fire station had to be evacuated and some breathing apparatus cylinders exploded in the fire.
Officers are searching the area this morning to make sure there are no more cylinders that could explode. No one was injured. Crews from King’s Lynn, Methwold, Swaffham, Littleport, Wisbech, Terrington, the water carrier from Fakenham and the control unit from Wymondham attended the fire in London Road.
Downham Market is a retained fire station, with one watch manager, two crew managers and eight firefighters. Tony White, who lives in Wingfields, off London Road, said he was getting ready for bed at about 12.30am when he heard a number of explosions.
He said, “Whilst I was in the house I heard at least four explosions and they echoed around like crazy and was sufficiently violent that the house shook. My initial reaction was that it was embarrassing for the fire service.”