Man dies after bungalow blaze

A MAN has died following a house fire in Suffolk today.

AN ELDERLY man has died after fire raged through his bungalow, police have confirmed.

The blaze broke out yesterday morning in the single-storey home in Beech Close, Sproughton, at around 11am.

The occupant, named locally as George Scott, was reported missing inside the building as the fire took hold of the kitchen and living room.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is under way, but early findings suggest the flames started in the kitchen, perhaps as a result of a faulty kettle.

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Group manager for Ipswich Martyn Thorpe, based at Princes Street fire station, said the fire spread rapidly as a result of the highly flammable polystyrene ceiling tiles throughout the home.

He said: “There was a severe fire in the front room and kitchen of the bungalow.

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“On arrival we bashed the doors down, and put one team into fight the fire and another quickly came across the elderly gentleman. He was pulled out straight away and we commenced CPR until the ambulance service arrived.

“Despite nearly an hour of treatment he sadly died.

“The premises was more or less covered in polystyrene ceiling tiles which are notorious for quick fire spread.

“The fire definitely started in the kitchen, and was possibly the result of a faulty kettle.

“It was a difficult fire for us. Fortunately we get very few fire deaths – our condolences go to the gentleman’s family.

“It appears he did have a smoke alarm but it is difficult to tell whether it alerted him or not.

“We would urge everyone to test their smoke alarms and if they do not have one to install one straight away.”

A spokeswoman for the ambulance service said they were called to reports a man had suffered a heart attack.

The spokeswoman said it is possible Mr Scott could have suffered the cardiac arrest as a result of smoke inhalation.

Shocked at the tragedy which unfolded in front of them, neighbours have paid heartfelt tribute to their friend.

Beryl and Fred Welham, who moved into the close at the same time as Mr Scott in 1964, said he had been a “lovely neighbour and friend”.

“He was a lovely man, and his wife Jean was wonderful too.”

They said Mr Scott, who lived in the house alone, had moved here from India, working at the Sugar Beet Factory in Ipswich until he retired.

His son Ian died a few years ago and he is survived by his daughter, named by neighbours as Virginia.

Anyone who has information is asked to call Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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