UPDATE: Two more arrests have been made over a fatal flat fire being treated as suspected murder in Sheffield.
Emergency services were alerted to the blaze on Bluebell Close, Wincobank, at 12.25am and found that a 44-year-old man had been ‘pulled’ from the burning property.
The man, who has not yet been named, later died.
Firefighters did a sweep of the semi-detached property but there was nobody else inside.
A joint police and fire service investigation into the cause of the blaze is underway.
The fire is believed to have started on the ground floor.
The trio arrested over the incident are in custody this morning facing police questioning.
A further two people have now been arrested and are being questioned.
Four men, aged 23, 53 and two 21-year-olds, and one woman, 46-years-old, are all now in police custody.
A police spokesman said: “They have all been arrested on suspicion of murder, however the investigation is in the early stages and further enquiries are to be conducted to establish the circumstances of the incident.”
Police officers have cordoned off Bluebell Close and a white tent has been erected on the road outside the flat.
Shocked neighbours woke to find police tape across the entrance to their street and inner cordons which are expected to be examined by forensic experts as the probe progresses this morning.
They described the man who perished in the blaze as ‘a loner’ and ‘quiet’.
One man said: “He was a loner, a quiet chap.
“He had lived in the flat since the 90s.
“More recently some men had started drinking outside the flats and he joined them, it went on all day some days.”
He said he heard ‘noise and banging’ from the flats at about 10pm and was woken up at 2am this morning by flashing lights from emergency services vehicles on the street.
Another resident said he saw an injured man in the street and a number of other men sat on a wall nearby.
He said there was a lot of noise heard from the flat from around 10.30pm.
The man, a neighbour, said forensics experts in white coats began to arrive at the flat during the night.
A woman from neighbouring Honeysuckle Road said she used to see the man who died in the house fire every day.
“He was a really, really nice lad - he was very softly spoken,” she added.
“I didn’t know him too well but would see him walking to the shop and say hello. He was always walking with his dog.
“I heard the sirens and came down. It’s awful.
“All you could see was firemen rushing about - it’s really, really awful.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “Three men have been arrested in connection with the incident and are assisting police with enquiries.
“The three men have been arrested on suspicion of murder however the investigation is in the very early stages and we are conducting a number of enquiries to establish the circumstance of the incident.”
A South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “A man has died following a fire at a house in the early hours.
“Emergency services were called to the report of a fire at Bluebell Close, Sheffield, at around 12.25am.
“A 44-year-old man was initially pulled away from the scene but was later pronounced deceased. The fire was put out and the premises made safe.
“A joint investigation between South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has commenced to establish the cause of the fire and cause of death.”