A Sheffield Council worker attempted to save a man from his burning home and alerted other residents after spotting flames billowing from a block of flats this morning.
Emergency services were then called to the burning flat on St Lawrence Glebe at 10.55am, where it is feared a resident died, although details of fatalities or injuries have not yet been released by South Yorkshire Police or South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue.
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Richard Edge, church warden at St Lawrence Church, said the council worker was inspecting gravestones in the church grounds when he saw the smoke.
Mr Edge said: "He noticed the smoke and he had got some keys to the flats so he went up and banged on the doors.
"He asked people to get out but on the flat where the smoke was coming from there was no answer."
Mr Edge said the worker had to leave the building because of the smoke and called the fire service.
A large police cordon remains in place, with residents unable to access their homes while emergency services remain at the scene and enquiries into the cause of the blaze are carried out.
Mr Edge added the church was open for refreshments for those restricted by the cordon.
More to follow.