Desperate bid to save man in house blaze

Scene of fatal house fire on Woodhall Road in Darfield
Scene of fatal house fire on Woodhall Road in Darfield
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SHOCKED neighbours today relived desperate attempts made to save a man killed in an ‘intense’ house fire.

Passing workmen and a nearby resident all tried to break into the home as it was engulfed by flames, but were unable to help.

The man who died, named locally as Leslie Robinson, was found by firefighters when they managed to break their way into the semi-detached home.

An investigation into the cause of the fire was continuing yesterday on Woodhall Road, Darfield, Barnsley.

Neighbour Patricia Clarke, aged 66, said: “One neighbour put her fist through the window and cut all her hand - she was trying to get in the house.

“We only saw him yesterday going up to the shop - it’s a complete shock. He was a nice man.”

Another resident, who asked not to be named, said: “Apparently there were two Kier vans coming around the corner and the workmen saw the fire. They kicked the door in to try to help but then the fire just pushed out through the door.”

The house was blackened yesterday, its windows and glass in the front door smashed.

Pregnant mum-of-two Kassy Smith, of nearby Schofield Road, was one of the residents who called 999 at around 4.40pm on Tuesday before crowds of people filled the street.

She said: “I heard the odd bit of banging and crackling so I looked out and thought an outbuilding was on fire, then I realised it was coming from the house. It has really knocked the street for six.”

Mick Mason, temporary area manager for South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “It was a very intense fire that has destroyed a number of rooms to the rear of the property and it has spread.

“It was very severe, enough to remove plaster from the walls and ceiling.”

A post mortem examination has been carried out and Mr Mason said investigators are keeping an ‘open mind’ about the cause.