Two perish in fires on Christmas Eve

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MYSTERY still surrounds the death of a South Yorkshire man following a blaze at his flat in the early hours of Christmas Eve.

Andrew Massarella, aged 40, died in the fire at Callender Court, Middleham Road, Cantley, Doncaster, and although fire investigators believe the blaze is most likely to have been caused by smoking materials, police are still treating the death as suspicious.

Detectives said they are keeping an ‘open mind’ until the results of forensic examinations are known.

Firefighters were alerted to the fire on Saturday at 3.20am, after smoke filtered into a neighbouring flat. It is thought the blaze started in the lounge.

The fire was the second in the region to have resulted in a fatality on Christmas Eve.

That same day a 65-year-old woman, named by neighbours as Norma Sweeney, died in a fire at her home in Mary Street, Whaley Thorns, between Chesterfield and Worksop.

Anyone with information about the Doncaster fire should call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident 274 of Saturday, December 24.