Street shocked by blaze death

NEIGHBOURS have told of their shock after a man died of injuries he suffered in a house fire.

Annie Davidson

NEIGHBOURS have told of their shock after a man died of injuries he suffered in a house fire.

The 42-year-old was carried out of the property, in Abels Road, Halstead, by heroic firefighters after they battled flames to reach him in the drama, which happened at 8.30pm last night.

The man, who suffered severe burns, was left in the care of ambulance crews but died later, a spokesman for Essex County Fire and Rescue Service said.

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Today, residents of the tight-knit street told of their shock and grief.

Next-door neighbour Tony Wright, 44, desperately tried to reach the stricken man.

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He said: “I was in the front room watching telly when I saw some smoke. I went outside and, with another man, we tried to get him out.

“We managed to knock down the front door and break the glass but smoke was too thick and the flames were too fierce to get through.”

Joyce McCall, 65, another next-door neighbour, said: “I didn't see much but everybody was looking out of their doors at the fire. “The first thing I saw was black smoke billowing out of the windows.

“It is quite traumatic when it's someone who you've lived next door to for about 15 years.”

An investigation into the cause of the fire has been launched by the fire service and police.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a fire in Halstead in which a man died.

“Officers were contacted by the fire and rescue service shortly after 8.30pm on Thursday following reports of a house on fire in Abels Road.

“A 42-year-old man was rescued from the house and taken to Broomfield Hospital after sustaining serious burns but sadly died a few hours later.

“The fire is not being treated as suspicious.

“A file will be prepared for the coroner ahead of the inquest which will be held at a later date.

“Formal identification and a post mortem examination will be carried out in due course.”

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