Little Plumstead Hospital: Large blaze at old mental hospital

Fire at Little Plumstead Hospital Image copyright Peter Hanlon
Image caption The fire spread from one end of the roof to the other of the former Little Plumstead Hospital

A former mental health hospital has been destroyed after a large fire ripped through the 19th Century building.

The fire at Little Plumstead Hospital, near Norwich, broke out at 01:45 BST on Sunday.

There were more than 50 firefighters at the scene at the height of the blaze.

Station manager Duncan Ashworth said: "It's a beautiful building, and a very complicated building. All of the internal structures have burnt away."

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Media captionThe building had to be demolished because of the fire damage
Image caption It is not yet known how the fire started
Image copyright Peter Hanlon
Image caption Little Plumstead Hall was built in an Elizabethan style and featured high chimneys and gables

The blaze engulfed the entire 60m (197ft) by 20m (67ft) building.

The red brick building, built as a hall in 1889, opened as a hospital in 1930 and has been unoccupied since the 1990s. No-one was in the building when the fire broke out.

Mr Ashworth said it was not yet known how the fire started and an investigation was under way.

"Because it was so well developed by the time we got here, we are obviously going to speak to people, early witnesses, to try to establish the most likely area but at the moment, it's going to be difficult to pinpoint that exactly," he said.

Firefighters are still at the scene dampening down.

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