Woman dies and man suffers burns in north Suffolk house fire – investigation underway

Emergency services attend the scene of a house fire on Rigbourne Hill, Beccles.
Picture: NICK BUTCH

Emergency services attend the scene of a house fire on Rigbourne Hill, Beccles. Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Nick Butcher

A woman believed to be in her early 70s has died in a serious house fire in Beccles this morning.

Four fire crews – two from Lowestoft South and one each from Beccles and Loddon in south Norfolk – were sent to a semi-detached property in Rigbourne Hill at around 6.38am.

The blaze is believed to have sparked on the first floor of the house and teams worked to put out the flames for just over an hour.

The fire was out by 8am but crews are still at the scene.

A joint police and fire investigation is currently underway.

Emergency services attend the scene of a house fire on Rigbourne Hill, Beccles. Picture: Nick Butche

Emergency services attend the scene of a house fire on Rigbourne Hill, Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service area commander Ian Bowell said crime scene investigators from Suffolk Constabulary were working alongside firefighters to establish what happened.

“There is a multi-agency approach being carried out here at the moment and we have crime scene investigators working with us.

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“At this early stage we believe the fire started in the first floor bedroom of the property. When we arrived we discovered two people, a man and a woman, at the bottom of the stairs.

“We managed to get them both out but the woman needed to be resuscitated.

Emergency services attend the scene of a house fire on Rigbourne Hill, Beccles.
Picture: Nick Butche

Emergency services attend the scene of a house fire on Rigbourne Hill, Beccles. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

“Our crews assisted until our ambulance colleagues arrived but sadly she died at the scene.

“We are now carrying out a large-scale investigation which involves all of our partners to try and work out what happened.

He added: “We hope to have a clearer picture later on today.”

Paramedics were also called to the home – they treated a man, whose age is not known, for burns and smoke inhalation.

He was taken to James Paget Hospital in Gorleston but his current condition is not clear at this time.

A neighbour, who lives opposite the house, said: “The noise of the fire engines woke me up just after 6.30am.

“I could just see smoke coming from the top windows.

“It’s not what you expect to wake up to.”

Witnesses reported seeing three police cars outside the house – and they also said Rigbourne Hill was blocked off for about an hour.

The road has since re-opened to traffic but several emergency vehicles remain at the scene.

• Stay with us for updates on this developing story as soon as we receive more information from the emergency services.

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