Tragic blaze victim named

The house in Glenfield Avenue, Bispham where Norman Hill died.
The house in Glenfield Avenue, Bispham where Norman Hill died.
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Fire chiefs have named a pensioner who tragically lost his life in a blaze.

Norman Hill, 81, died from suspected smoke inhalation after a fire at his bungalow on Glenfield Avenue, Bispham, on Sunday.

Today firefighters investigating the blaze revealed Mr Hill, who lived alone, had no smoke alarms in his property – and urged other residents to ensure they have the life-saving devices installed.

Gary West, station manager at Bispham fire station, said: “There were no smoke detectors in the property at all.

“Had there been smoke detectors in the property at the time that may have resulted in a better outcome.

“There’s no guarantee detectors would have alerted the occupant but they may have given him more of a chance.”

Firefighters spent yesterday at the property investigating the cause of the blaze, but have confirmed it started in the living room and said they do not believe it is suspicious.

The fire had burnt out by the time crews arrived at the bungalow at around 2.20pm, and Mr Hill was found in a bedroom.

He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Mr West said: “We think the fire started in the lounge of the property and there are no indications at this point we are looking at a suspicious fire.

“It was initially a relatively small fire and it has been burning for quite some time, the carpets, curtains and TV set can generate quite a lot of smoke over a long period of time and the property is severely damaged by smoke.

“The fire had gone out by the time the fire service arrived.

“There was no visible sign of flame which would indicate it has used up all the oxygen in the house.”

Firefighters also spent yesterday visiting neighbouring properties and offering free home fire safety checks to raise awareness.

Coun Kath Rowson, Ingthorpe ward councillor and cabinet member for adult social services, said: “It is very sad this has happened and my condolences go to his family.

“It sometimes takes very sad incidents like this to remind us we need to be aware of our safety and I do hope everybody takes advantage of the fire brigade’s offer to have their home smoke alarms checked.”

Anyone who wants a free check should contact Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service on 0800 169 1125.

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