Neighbours describe the unsuccessful attempt to rescue the victim of a house fire in Bellings Road, Haverhill

Scenes of the house fire in Bellings Road, Haverhill.

Scenes of the house fire in Bellings Road, Haverhill. - Credit: Gregg Brown

A person who died in a fire in Haverhill in the early hours of yesterday had been desperately crying for help, according to neighbours who rushed to their aid.

People living near the three-storey terraced home in Bellings Road described how they had fought in vain to reach the trapped person as flames ripped through the property’s roof.

Firefighters, who were called to the scene at 2.30am, said the body of a man was discovered during a search of the building.

According to neighbours the property was the home of Delroy Watson.

But last night police said they were unable to confirm if the body found inside was that of a man or a woman.

One witness, who asked not to be named, described how he and his fiance’s brother tried to smash through the door with a hammer to gain access to the burning home.

His friend Yvonne Wilde, who lives opposite the property, said they had heard a male voice “calling for help”.

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“They got upstairs, but they couldn’t see him because the smoke was so thick. That was before the fire brigade arrived. He said when he opened the door he could only see flames.”

She said the fire “cut them off” from going into the room, where they believed the person was trapped. “He was calling for help, and that’s really upset me,” said the 38-year-old mother-of-two.

Haverhill Mayor Roger Andre said: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the deceased.”

Station commander Paul Goodman said six appliances and an aerial ladder from Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex were sent to the scene.

He said: “When we turned up, the gable end at the front of the building had fire coming out of it. That quickly spread to the adjacent property in the roof and we have obviously had a roof collapse.

“The tiles have come down outside the building and the roof has collapsed internally so very difficult conditions for our firefighters, but they did an excellent job in stopping the fire from spreading [any further]. Unfortunately in the search we found the [body of the] male occupant of the property.”

He confirmed everyone else has been accounted for – apart from the person who died. It is believed the fire may have started on the second floor.

An investigation is continuing into the cause of the blaze, which police have said is not thought to be suspicious.

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