Man in 90s dies in Chelmsford house fire but woman saved by neighbours

The fire happened in Maple Drive, Chelmsford. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

The fire happened in Maple Drive, Chelmsford. Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

A man in his 90s died during a house fire in Essex in the early hours of this morning.

A woman, also in her 90s, was rescued from the burning property in Maple Drive, Chelmsford by neighbours.

Councillor Mark Springett, who represents the area, called the incident a “massive tragedy”.

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service was alerted to the blaze at the semi-detached house by nearby residents at 12.40am today.

Crews immediately entered the home on arrival and found a fire in the living room.

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The man was pronounced dead at the scene, a brigade spokesman said.

The woman was treated by ambulance crews after breathing in smoke and taken to Broomfield Hospital for further care.

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The fire service spokesman added: “It is not known at this stage what caused the fire, but it is not being treated as suspicious.

“An investigation to find the cause of the fire is underway.”

Two fire crews from Chelmsford attended the scene.

Mr Springett, for Moulsham Lodge, said his thoughts were with the couple’s family.

He added: “These events are always a massive tragedy and they enforce the importance of domestic properties having proper fire alarms and everyone making sure they check batteries because they save so many lives.

“I don’t know the circumstances of this case and whether they have alarms or not.

“I understand neighbours helped the lady out the house.

“We must let the fire service do the investigation to see what the cause was but I know there have been quite a few incidences where washing machines and tumble driers are left on overnight so not to say that was the case here but it’s an example that people need to be careful of leaving tumble driers and washing machines on overnight. We need to remind people of the dangers.”

Mr Springett said he planned to check on neighbours in Maple Drive today as “it must have been a shock to them”.

Councillor Dick Madden, who also covers the Moulsham ward, said: “It’s a tragedy and I offer my condolences to the family of the deceased man and the family of the woman.”

Depending on the results of the investigation, Mr Madden said he would get in touch with brigade chiefs about offering fire safety advice to residents in the area.

The East of England Ambulance Service was called at 1.10am and sent an ambulance, a rapid response vehicle, two Hazardous Area Response Teams and an ambulance officer to the scene.

A spokesman said the woman’s injuries and condition were “unknown”, and the man had “passed away on arrival”.

Essex Police also attended the scene and put a cordon around the home.

A spokesman said: “We attended, but, sadly, a man inside was found deceased. A woman was taken to hospital having inhaled smoke.

“The death of the man is being treated as non-suspicious and inquiries are ongoing to establish the cause of the fire.

“A file will be prepared for the coroner.”

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