Neighbours battled in vain to get into a burning house in Barnsley where a couple perished.
Emergency services were alerted to the fire on Cherry Tree Street, Elsecar, at 6.50pm last night.
When firefighters arrived they found neighbours trying to force open the back door of the mid-terrace property to get inside.
One woman said she heard ‘screaming and shouting’ and cries that there was somebody trapped in the burning house.
She said: “I heard shouting and screaming and could hear someone shouting that there was someone stuck inside.
“Neighbours tried to break the back door down to get into the house but they couldn’t get in.”
She said the couple who died in the fire moved into the house around a year ago.
She said she thought they were in their 50s or 60s.
This morning a police car was parked outside the house guarding the property.
Fire investigators are due to arrive to continue their probe into the cause of the blaze.
A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “Firefighters rescued an adult male and female from the fire on Cherry Tree Street, Elsecar.
“But despite the considerable efforts of firefighters and ambulance crews at the scene, both sadly passed away.
“Firefighters were called to the incident at around 6.50pm on Tuesday evening.
“Three fire engines - from Tankersley and Dearne stations - attended.
“A multi-agency investigation into the cause of the fire has now begun.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokeswoman said: “Police assisted other emergency service colleagues at a house fire in Elsecar, Barnsley.
“Two people are understood to have died at the property in Cherry Tree Street.
“Formal identification has not been carried out.
“An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway, lead by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, to establish whether or not there are any suspicious circumstances.”