Stanton: Investigations are under way into cause of fatal fire in Drovers Rise

The aftermath of the fire at a bungalow in Drovers Rise, Stanton.

The aftermath of the fire at a bungalow in Drovers Rise, Stanton. - Credit: Archant

Finger-tip examinations of the scene of a fatal fire will continue today after a blaze engulfed a bungalow, killing its owner.

A body was found inside the property in Drovers Rise, at Shepherds Grove Park retirement park, near Bury St Edmunds, following a blaze in the early hours of yesterday morning.

Formal identification has not yet taken place but the man has been named by neighbours as Don Andrews.

A spokesman for Suffolk Police said the man’s death was being treated as unexplained and a post-mortem examination is due to be held today.

The police, who remained at the scene overnight, are working with the fire service, ambulance service and forensic scientists to determine the cause of the blaze.

Yesterday at about 4am a neighbour reported seeing flames at the site. Three fire engines, from Ixworth, Bury St Edmunds and Elmswell, attended, with about 20 firefighters.

Ali Moseley, group commander for Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, said the first crews could see a thick plume of smoke from a few miles away.

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He said by the time they arrived they were faced with a “very severe fire” and they “quite quickly learned there was someone potentially inside the property”.

Mr Moseley said: “The judgement at the time was there was no intervention we could have made that would have saved that person’s life.”

He described it as “testing” and “dangerous” for the firefighters, adding they did a very good job under pressure and stopped the blaze spreading to neighbouring properties.

Yesterday afternoon residents were able to return to their homes after up to a dozen were evacuated for safety reasons. A petroleum gas cylinder with butane had been discovered.

Neighbour Caroline Cushion said she was woken up by another neighbour knocking at the window saying ‘get out of bed, there’s a fire’ and there were “flames everywhere”.

“A man next door, he tried to put a hose on but said it was useless,” she said.

A woman, aged 78, said: “I heard a lot of car doors banging. Then I looked up the road and there were fire engines – two – and the house was literally well ablaze.” She and her husband, who asked not to be named, said they would greet Mr Andrews if they saw him in the street, but did not know him well.

“We would very rarely see him out. Occasionally he would come up the road on his electric scooter.”

Anyone with information about the fire should call Suffolk Police on 101.