Fatal St Leonards fire victim believed to be 74

Smoke coming from the fire at a house on West Hil Road, St Leonards. Photo by Vendula Duchkov� SUS-171002-112050001
Smoke coming from the fire at a house on West Hil Road, St Leonards. Photo by Vendula Duchkov� SUS-171002-112050001

A 74-year-old man is believed to be the victim of a fatal St Leonards fire yesterday (Thursday, February 9), with the cause still unexplained.

A man’s body was found inside the house on West Hill Road after six fire engines tackled the blaze at around 6pm.

The emergency services are still working to establish the cause of the fire and anyone with information is urged to come forward.

Detective Inspector Andy Eggleton said: “We are in the early stages of the investigation to establish how the fire started and at this stage we are treating it as unexplained. We are working closely with East Sussex Fire and Rescue and the Coroner.

“I would ask anyone in the area who may have seen something that could help us to report information online sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal, quoting Operation Bogart.”

Emergency services were called to a house in West Hill Road, St Leonards at around 5.35pm following a reported fire.

Six appliances attended the scene along with the incident command unit and an aerial ladder platform.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reel jets to bring the fire under control, which had caused extensive damage to the property.

The road was closed and a cordon put in place while East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service assessed the damage to the premises and those adjoining.

Kim Vessey said she walked passed at around 6pm and there was ‘thick, putrid black smoke’ coming out of the front door.

The body of a man, believed to be 74, was found inside the house.

At this time, the investigation is in its early stages to establish how the fire started, a fire service spokesman said.

The spokesman added: “The thoughts of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are with friends and family of the man who tragically lost his life in this incident.”

Witnesses can also email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101.

VIDEO: Man dies in major St Leonards house fire

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