Man dies in fire at house

Emergency services at the scene of the fire on Hastings Avenue in Bispham.
Emergency services at the scene of the fire on Hastings Avenue in Bispham.
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An investigation is under way after a pensioner died in a fire at his home.

The 73-year-old, named locally as Alan, was found dead by firefighters in the lounge of his home in Hastings Avenue, Bispham.

Shocked neighbours today paid tribute to a “lovely man” who they say never fully recovered from the death of his wife several years ago.

Alan Schofield, who lives nearby, said: “He lives on his own. His wife died a few years ago and it really knocked him.

“He had lived there longer than us, and we’ve been here 30 years.

“All I heard yesterday morning was a noise. I got up and the road was cordoned off. The windows at the back are all black.”

And another neighbour, who did not want to be named, added: “I was up first thing and I didn’t see any smoke at all.

“He was a lovely man. Every day he walked past and said hello.

“His wife died quite a few years ago and he never got over that.

“He adored her.

“I knew him years ago because my son and his son used to know each other.

“At one time he was a very fit, strong man and well dressed.”

Fire crews and police were called to the semi-detached house at 8.30am yesterday after a passer-by spotted a small fire in the front room.

It is not yet known how or when the fire started, but firefighters confirmed they found a “small, smouldering fire” in the living room, where the resident was, and the house was smoke logged.

The fire is being treated as unexplained, but a fire service spokesman said they did not believe it was arson.

Police have now confirmed there are no suspicious circumstances.

Firefighters from Blackpool and Bispham attended the scene and headquarters station manager Tony Ashworth said: “The house was smoke logged when we arrived and there was a small smouldering fire put out by fire service personnel and we used ventilation units to remove the smoke from the building.

“A man was discovered in the front room.

“The room was smoke logged but the fire didn’t get hot enough to break any windows so there’s been a build-up of smoke within the building.

“We can’t speculate on what has happened but as with all unexplained deaths involving fire we’ve a multi-agency investigation taking place to establish the cause of the fire.”

Police forensic officers were at the property yesterday morning to examine the scene alongside firefighters, who remained for several hours.