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Chimney Fire Destroys Hickling Hall


This is the tragic sight after a chimney fire gutted a historic hall in the Norfolk Broads.

Around 60 fire fighters battled the inferno at Hickling Hall last night, with more than 20 fire service vehicles in attendance before the blaze was brought under control.

One chimney stack at the grade II listed building has already collapsed, and it is understood the burnt-out shell of the building may need to be demolished.


Hickling Hall is owned by Bernard Ellis, who together with his son Stuart runs a potato farming business from the estate.

The hall has been in the family for three generations, since it was bought in 1964, and the building itself dates back to about 1700.




Roy Harold, deputy chief fire officer for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, explained that Mr Ellis senior had made the emergency call at around 7.50pm on Boxing Day.

Mr Harold said the fire had spread from a chimney to a bedroom, and then took hold of the building – with firefighters unable to contain it due to the difficulties of fighting a fire in a historic building.

“It’s an old building and they have a lot of hidden spaces,” he explained. “It spread through the rest of the building.

“The fire was developing rapidly in the upper floor bedrooms.


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