Woman in 70s dies in Essex house fire

The scene after the house fire in Kelvedon. Picture: AMY GIBBONS

The scene after the house fire in Kelvedon. Picture: AMY GIBBONS

A woman in her 70s has died during a house fire in Essex early this morning.

The incident happened on Dowches Gardens. Picture: AMY GIBBONS

The incident happened on Dowches Gardens. Picture: AMY GIBBONS - Credit: Archant

The incident occurred in Dowches Gardens in Kelvedon shortly before 1am.

Neighbours were alerted to the fire when they heard the homeowner’s smoke alarm.

After calling 999 they bravely tried to save the woman, but they were beaten back by the smoke.

When firefighters arrived they found a fire in a bedroom on the ground floor.

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The woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Three people were assessed by medics at the scene having breathed in smoke, but they did not require hospital treatment.

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Neighbours reported that the woman in question had been housebound for some time, so they rarely made contact with her.

Jo Dowson, who lives in a bungalow behind the property, said a woman named Mrs De Coverley lived at the cottage. She said that she’d often chatted to houseowner’s late husband.

“She became bed-ridden,” Mrs Dowson said.

“She’s been in that back bedroom [and] had carers there for some years now.”

A close neighbour added: “My daughter was very upset. We never see her.”

Other nearby residents reported a huge police and ambulance presence on the scene – including a helicopter.

Police say the cause of the fire is not being treated as suspicious.

An investigation to find the cause of the fire started today.

An Essex Police spokeswoman said: “We were contacted by the fire service shortly before 1am on Thursday, March 22, to a fire at an address in Church Road, Kelvedon.

“The ambulance service also attended. Sadly a woman aged in her 70s was found deceased.

“Inquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of the fire.”

Three fire engine were dispatched: one each from Tiptree, Coggeshall and Witham.

The East of England Ambulance Service sent an ambulance crew, an ambulance officer, two rapid response vehicles and a Hazard Area Response Team (HART) vehicle to the scene.

A spokesman said: “Sadly a woman died at the scene. Three patients were assessed at the scene for smoke inhalation but did not require transport to the hospital. Our thoughts go out to the family.”

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