Man killed in car fire named as former police chief

The Green Cavendish

Fire crews and police were called to The Green at Cavendish to deal with a car fire - Credit: GOOGLE STREETVIEW

Police say they are not treating the death of a man in a car fire in a Suffolk village as suspicious.

Fire crews and police were called to Cavendish at breakfast-time yesterday after reports of a car exploding and being engulfed in flames which shot into the air.

Some villagers reported hearing a loud bang.

Police investigating the circumstances confirmed today that they are not treating the death of the man as suspicious at this time.

A file will be prepared for the coroner in due course.

Police said a man in his 70s died at the scene - he has been named locally as Edwin Williams.

Mr Williams is said to have lived in the village for around 15 years following his retirement as a detective superintendent in the Metropolitan Police.

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He is known to have complained about the noise from the church bells of the St Mary the Virgin Church in Cavendish and has been described by villagers as very persistent when taking on issues but "civilised and determined".

West Suffolk district councillor Peter Stevens, who lives in Cavendish, about 200 yards from where the car fire took place, said he had heard the emergency vehicles arriving.

He said immediate neighbours to the incident had been "hugely distressed" by what had happened and the village had been left shocked, with some people "very upset, shattered" by what had happened.

"It's been a difficult time and for that to happen is tragic circumstances and quite shocking," added Mr Stevens.

Police said the incident happened in Cavendish just after 7.30am.

Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service and police officers were called to reports of a vehicle alight on The Green in the village.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: "The driver of the grey Hyundai IX35 estate car, a man in his 70s, sadly died at the scene. His next of kin have been notified."

Two other cars, parked nearby, were damaged as a result of the fire.

Investigating officers are appealing for any witnesses, or anyone driving in the area at around 7.30am with a dashcam in their vehicle, to contact Suffolk police, quoting reference: CAD 64 of March 6. Officers can be contacted on 101 or via the force website.

If you need help or support please contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline on 0808 196 3494.

Alternatively download the Stay Alive app, which is backed by the Suffolk User Forum, if you are having thoughts of suicide or if you are concerned about someone else.

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