Man killed in house blaze

A RACING community was grieving today after a man was killed in a “suspicious” house fire.

The man, thought to be a head boy at a stables in Newmarket, was dragged from a burning building in the town’s Exeter Road after a severe blaze broke out at 2.12pm yesterday.

Despite efforts by paramedics to revive him, the victim, who was alone in the house at the time, died later at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds.

Identified locally as a Ukrainian rider, the man was said to be in his mid 20s.

Kay Fowler, 26, head girl at another stables in the town who had worked with the victim, said: “The racing community is a family really. This will affect us all. He was an absolutely smashing lad. One of the nicest riders in Newmarket.”

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Gareth Newmatch, 17, who also knew the victim, said: “He was a good lad. A racing lad. You couldn’t ask for a better person to help you.”

Martha Daniels, a rider for another stables in the town, said: “He always seemed really sweet and said hello.”

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Fire investigators were combing the scene yesterday afternoon to discover the cause of the blaze, which is being treated as “suspicious”.

It is understood the fire started on the first floor of the property though the cause is currently unknown.

Fire crews from Newmarket, Burwell and Bury St Edmunds were sent to the scene.

Five firefighters donned specialist breathing equipment and went into the building to fight back the flames, but were unable to save the occupant.

A neighbour in Exeter Road last night described the death as a ‘terrible tragedy’.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said investigations were ongoing but confirmed officers were investigating if the man was a foreign national. He has not yet been named.

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