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Sombre community vows to rally round after ‘great tragedy’ of house fire death

PUBLISHED: 16:43 16 December 2018 | UPDATED: 19:27 16 December 2018

The house where the person died in a fire in Yoxford Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

The house where the person died in a fire in Yoxford Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Archant

A village in shock has vowed to do everything possible to support the family of a person who died in a tragic house fire.

The scene of the house fire in Yoxford. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTHThe scene of the house fire in Yoxford. Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

Community leaders in Yoxford spoke of the “great tragedy” of the blaze at the two-storey semi-detached house in Grove Side, off the High Street, where it is believed an elderly man lived with his dog.

Neighbours tried to rescue the person inside when the fire broke out at around 5.20am on Saturday (December 15), with one resident said to have been beaten back by the ferocity of thick black smoke after going in on his hands and knees to try and rescue the person inside.

The death is currently being treated as unexplained but a police officer at the scene said it is not being treated as suspicious.

Russell Pearce, chairman of Yoxford Parish Council, said there was a “very sombre mood” in the village after the tragedy.

Scene of the fire in the centre of Yoxford Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTHScene of the fire in the centre of Yoxford Picture: ANDREW PAPWORTH

“Everyone is really upset about it,” he said.

“Everyone is in shock that it’s happened. People die, but not in those circumstances.

“I understand a neighbour raised the alarm and tried to break in to help the person inside, but they were too late.

“There is great sadness at such a great loss. I’m sure the fire service did everything they possibly could and I know they were on the scene very quickly.

“It is a great tragedy.”

County councillor Richard Smith, whose division covers Yoxford, said: “It is a horrible thing to happen.

“We will await the outcome of the investigation to see what caused the fire. If there are lessons to be learned I’m sure they will be. My thoughts are with the family and relatives.

“As a local county councillor, I know Yoxford is a close community. I’m sure people will offer all the help and support they can to the person’s family. It’s a sad thing.”

District councillor Stephen Burroughes added: “It came as a complete shock.

“You never realise the impact of what such a fire will be until it happens close to you.

“I’m very pleased the fire and rescue service managed to get there and assist. We were all extremely shocked, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.

“I attend Yoxford Parish Council meetings and I’ve always found the community to be positive. They are a perfect role model for all communities in the way they approach life and issues.

“To have something like this happen is a big shock but people in Yoxford always pull together and rally round. It shows what a great community it is.”

Thalia Barker, co-owner at G&Ts Cafe and Kitchen in the village’s High Street, said: “We’re a very close-knit community in Yoxford.

“When something like this happens it pulls at the heart strings.”

Andrew Singleton, owner of Suffolk House Antiques, in the High Street, said he was sorry to hear someone had passed away.

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