FATAL FIRE CLAIMS MAN’S LIFE IN NEWPORT

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UPDATED: At least 1 person has died in a blaze at a property on Furrlongs in Newport this morning (Thursday).

As previously reported by Island Echo, the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service were called to a serious property fire opposite the junction of Home Meade at just before 05:30.

Sadly, it is understood the occupant of the bungalow – thought to be a man in his 80s – has died in the blaze. A blue sheet has been erected against the entrance to the property.

Appliances from Newport, Ryde and East Cowes remain on scene alongside the Incident Command Unit and engineers from Scottish and Southern Electricity. Fire crews are working with Police – including detectives – and specialist forensic investigators are expected to attend the incident later this morning.

Police have erected cordons in the area and hard road closures have been put in place by Island Roads, indicating the road will remain closed for sometime.

The roof of the property has been severely damaged in the blaze, which also appears to have gutted the inside of the home. The shell of the building is being damped down in order to preserve the adjoining property.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown.

UPDATE @ 08:50 – Hampshire Constabulary have confirmed that a man has died in this morning’s fire. No other persons were inside the property.

Local residents have expressed their sadness at the devastating news, claiming the elderly gentleman was a ‘sweetheart’ and would do anything for anyone. He would even give local children pocket money. It is said the victim lived alone and was a bit of a ‘hoarder’. One neighbour has said he slept in the hallway.

Fire crews from Ryde and East Cowes have now left the scene but 2 crews from Newport, the Incident Command Unit and the British Red Cross Fire and Emergency Support unit remain, alongside Police.

Investigations are being carried out to establish the full facts of the incident.

Meanwhile several engineers from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks are working to isolate supply to the 2 properties involved. They are digging up the front garden.

UPDATE @ 09:35 – Hampshire Constabulary’s forensic investigators have arrived at Furrlongs and are working alongside officers from the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service to examine and document the scene.

A number of detectives are also present.

UPDATE @ 10:10 – Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Fire Investigation dogs have been brought across the Solent to help with the ongoing investigation. The specially trained investigators are working alongside the Police to establish the cause of the fire.

It has been confirmed that the first fire crews were on scene within just 4 minutes of the 999 call, but that the fire developed rapidly. The Isle of Wight Ambulance Service were called to the scene, but were later stood down.

The adjoining bungalow has been affected by mild smoke damage but the homeowner is expected to return later today, once electricity supplies have been restored.

The road remains closed and cordons are still in place. This is likely to remain the case for the remainder of the day.

Southern Vectis Route 8 buses are not currently serving Pan estate.

UPDATE @ 15:12 – The death of a 79-year-old man is being treated as unexplained this afternoon.

Police are appealing for any witnesses to come forward.

Follow continuing updates at http://www.islandecho.co.uk/news/fatal-blaze-treated-unexplained

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