VIDEO: Man dies in major St Leonards house fire

A man died in a major fire in St Leonards this evening (Thursday, February 9).

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

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

Firefighters managed to tackle the blaze which caused extensive damage to the property.

The body of a man was found inside the house. The coroner’s officer has been informed.

There are no other reported injuries. The cause of the fire is currently being treated as unexplained.

Inspector Mark Evans said: “The road was closed and a cordon put in place while East Sussex Fire and Rescue assess the damage to the premises and those adjoining.

St Leonards fire. Photo by Eddie Mitchell. SUS-170902-200302001

St Leonards fire. Photo by Eddie Mitchell. SUS-170902-200302001

“At this time we are in the early stages of the investigation to establish how the fire started and are working closely with East Sussex Fire and Rescue.

“I would ask anyone in the area who may have seen something that could help us to report information online quoting Operation Bogart.”

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.

Fire in West Hill Road, St Leonards. Photo by Eddie Mitchell. SUS-170902-192329001

Fire in West Hill Road, St Leonards. Photo by Eddie Mitchell. SUS-170902-192329001

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.

The cause of the fire is currently being treated as unexplained and a joint investigation will be carried out with Sussex Police.

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.”

St Leonards fire. Photo by Eddie Mitchell. SUS-170902-200251001

St Leonards fire. Photo by Eddie Mitchell. SUS-170902-200251001

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

Witnesses can report online via sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal.

You can also email 101@sussex.pnn.police.ukor call 101.

The fire service offers free Home Safety Advice to all residents in our communities. For further information please contact 0800 177 7069 or visit www.esfrs.org.

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