Neighbours desperately tried to free a man trapped in his burning home – and watched on as paramedics fought to save his life.
The man, whom The Gazette is not naming at this stage, died shortly after being rescued from his end-terraced home in Beach Avenue, Cleveleys, at around 3pm yesterday.
An investigation into the cause of the blaze, which devastated the home, is being carried out there today by police and fire officials.
A ladder, believed to have been used by the brave neighbours, was still leaning against an upstairs window this morning.
One rescuer said: “I did no more than any other normal person would have done in that situation.”
He added: “I’m certainly no hero and don’t want to be made out to be one. There were a lot of people trying to help that should be taking credit.
“I was passing and did all I could to try and save him, but unfortunately it was too far gone. It was a sad day for a lot of people.”
A friend of the man's, speaking from the street, said: “He was one of my best mates. I have known him for years.”
A neighbour added: “I can’t believe something like this has happened. I have never seen anything like it on this street.”
And a local shop worker said: "I heard the air ambulance going over but had no idea what was happening at the time.
"It's so shocking. I have heard that someone tried to get him out but that's all I know."
Surrounding streets were taped off as six firefighters wearing breathing masks and oxygen tanks searched the home for the man.
The crews, two from Blackpool and one each from Bispham and Fleetwood, were met by a ‘substantial’ blaze when they arrived, and will be offered counselling.
The air ambulance helicopter also landed on the bowling green at the Park Club in West Drive.
Police, who appealed for witnesses to come forward, said officers were ‘in liaison with our colleagues at the fire service to establish whether it was suspicious’.
There were reports of loud bangs at the home, but they were being treated as ‘incidental’, one official said.