A Sheffield neighbourhood was in shock today after a man tragically died in an ‘extensive’ house fire.
Neighbours said they were ‘gobsmacked’ after three fire engines, and police and ambulance services were called to Manor Park Road, Manor, at 10pm on Tuesday.
Fire crews cordoned off the road to fight the fire. When they arrived flames were leaping from the upstairs window.
Neighbour Margaret Potts, of Manor Park Rise, said: “I heard a load of vehicles coming up the road. I looked out the window to see and there were fire engines, police, and ambulances, and they cordoned off the whole road.
“I was gobsmacked. You don’t expect it at all.”
Ms Potts said she knew the man, believed to be in his 50s. She added: “He mostly kept himself to himself. But he was a character.”
Lynn and John Fox, aged 61 and 64, have lived in the road their whole lives.
Mrs Fox said: “We were going to bed and saw the flashing lights. This morning we heard that a man had died. It’s just dreadful. Absolutely shocking and awful.”
They said there had been another major fire on the road about eight years ago which gutted another flat.
Throughout Wednesday fire crews and police forensic investigators searched the house to try to find the cause of the latest fire.
Officers used sniffer dogs to try to detect signs of accelerants such as petrol as part of their investigation – but the fire is not thought to be suspicious.
Mick Mason, specialist fire officer at South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, said: “We got called to a reported house fire at 10pm.
“Crews arrived very quickly and when they got there they found the premises well alight with flames exiting from the windows.
“We committed teams wearing breathing apparatus straight into the premises, where they quickly extinguished the fire but they found a gentleman on his bed upstairs and unfortunately he was pronounced dead on scene.
“We don’t know the cause at this stage, but we’re keeping an open mind and we’re looking at all possible avenues.
“We’ve got a full investigation team here and we’re conducting an investigation with South Yorkshire Police and their crime scene investigators.
“It was quite an extensive fire.
“We’re conducting a scene survey and a search of the premises and we’re looking at what exactly could cause this fire.
“There’s nothing at this moment in time to suggest it was suspicious.”