People and puppies rescued from large fire

Puppy being held in the arms of a fireman
Several puppies were rescued from the building and no people were reported as injured [Andrew Turner/BBC]

People and several puppies have been rescued by firefighters tackling a large blaze at a shop and flats.

It broke out at about 05:20 BST in Northgate Street in Great Yarmouth and Norfolk Fire Service sent nine crews from across the county to the scene.

It said several people were helped out via the stairs but one had to be rescued by a ladder from a top floor window.

A number of puppies were also rescued by crews and were given oxygen at the scene.

Fire in a building in Great Yarmouth
The flames caused the roof to cave in [John Temple]
Firefighter giving oxygen to a puppy
Several puppies were treated with oxygen at the scene [Andrew Turner/BBC]

Writing on Facebook, the fire service said: "Our crews are currently working hard at the scene and have asked any members of the public to avoid the area and to keep doors and windows closed."

Firefighter on a ladder
Smoke could be seen billowing from a top floor window where one person was trapped [John Temple]
Aerial ladder and firefighters in Great Yarmouth
One person had to be rescued from a top floor window [Andrew Turner/BBC]
Chris Harding-Hook, from the fire service
Chris Harding-Hook said the building's roof had collapsed [Andrew Turner/BBC]

Great Yarmouth fire station manager Chris Harding-Hook said: "Within one of the flats were some puppies and we rescued those animals.

"Our appliances are equipped with special oxygen masks to administer oxygen and make sure their lungs are clean."

He said the ambulance service was assisting firefighters in giving first aid to the animals.

People were also evacuated from flats either side of the building that was on fire, and were being looked after at a nearby pub which opened its doors early to provide hot drinks.

Mr Harding-Hook said the roof of the stricken building had "completely collapsed".

Brandon McHugh and a dog
Brandon McHugh managed to save two of his dogs and firefighters save his others [Andrew Turner/BBC]

Brandon McHugh, 20, who lives in one of the flats above the shop said he was woken at about 05:30 "by the postman screaming and shouting up to me at my bedroom window that the house was on fire".

He managed to get himself and two of his dogs out of the flat but the other puppies were stuck in another room.

"I came down the stairs and the windows blew out on the other neighbour's property which then, I think, caught fire," he added.

He said all of the other dogs were rescued from his flat and they were "all right now - thank God".

Firefighters with a puppy
The puppies were taken care of by the fire service and ambulance crews [Andrew Turner/BBC]

The Reverend Canon Simon Ward, the rector of Great Yarmouth, said he was "woken up by the smell of smoke so I came round straight away, just as the first fire engine was getting to work".

"There was a gentleman at the top of the building and the fire brigade rescued him down a ladder and then other appliances and police arrived," he said.

"They had to work hard to bring it under control but are doing a fantastic job - and the community are all looking out for each other as well.

"You can really see the devastation of the fire, and several of the locals were reflecting how these buildings have stood here for hundreds of years - and it's heartbreaking to see history going up in smoke."

Firefighters in Great Yarmouth
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has sent nine crews to the scene in Great Yarmouth [Andrew Turner/BBC]

Follow Norfolk news on Facebook, Instagram and X. Got a story? Email or WhatsApp us on 0800 169 1830

Related internet links