Artist 'glad to be alive' after fire at Norwich home studio

  • Published
FireImage source, Wensum Arts
Image caption,
Mr Madeley said he posted pictures and a video on the Wensum Art Facebook page to say "thank you" to the fire service

An artist said he was "glad to be alive" after a studio he works at with his partner was gutted in a fire.

John Madeley runs Wensum Arts from the garage of his house in Ovington, near Thetford in Norfolk.

Fire engines took about 10 hours to put out the blaze which destroyed art supplies and artwork which was being prepared for exhibition.

Mr Madeley said: "The car, the studio, the garage, was lost. It was gone. There's nothing to be seen."

"Everything is just covering in tar and sooty blackness. The smell makes you feel nauseous," he added.

Image source, Wensum Arts
Image caption,
Mr Madeley pictured in the studio before the fire with his dog Burberry who he said had been "traumatised" by the fire

The 57-year-old said he and his partner heard "a pop pop pop boom" from outside their house "and the back garden turned orange".

He said he went outside and "saw flames leaping out from the garage".

Before the fire service arrived he used a garden hose to stop the flames getting into the living quarters of the house.

His partner Krissy Marwood-Cross, 56, also lost her pottery work and her potter's wheel in the fire which happened on Friday evening.

Image source, Wensum Arts
Image caption,
Five fire engines were needed to tackle the blaze at the home studio of Wensum Arts

Mr Madeley said: "We're glad to be alive. Art materials can all be replaced, but the artwork I was getting ready for open studios and general exhibitions is gone, it can't be replaced.

"We've been working hard getting stuff ready for [an exhibition in] May, we're feeling deflated."

Image source, Wensum Arts
Image caption,
John Madeley teaches drawing painting and photography in Norfolk

He said the fire service "did a brilliant job" to keep the fire contained to the garage and preventing it spreading to the house.

Mr Madeley said Wensum Arts provides art tuition and gallery field trips.

Image source, Wensum Arts
Image caption,
Mr Madeley said he would now have to try to recreate the artwork that was lost in the fire

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