An 87 year old man has died in a house fire in Tamworth in the early hours of this morning; he is the seventh elderly person to die in a fire in Staffordshire this year.
"Though the circumstances are tragic, it is important to note that the property had working smoke alarms and this is what alerted the neighbour who was able to quickly try to help the man."
Tamworth Area Commander, Del Roberts
Crews from Tamworth and Lichfield were called to the semi-detached property on Ashby Road at 1.35am this morning, after a neighbour heard the man’s smoke alarm operating and alerted the fire and rescue service.
The neighbour also woke up the owner of a nearby farm who rushed to the property with farming respiratory equipment and a fire extinguisher. The man gained entry to the property and began to fight the fire with the fire extinguisher until firefighters arrived at the scene.
The farmer was then able to direct firefighters straight to the elderly man’s location and exited the property to allow the firefighters to tackle the blaze and rescue the occupant.
Tamworth Area Commander, Del Roberts said: "Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the property and brought the man outside for paramedics to attend to. He was taken to hospital but was unfortunately pronounced dead at 3am.
"Though the circumstances are tragic, it is important to note that the property had working smoke alarms and this is what alerted the neighbour who was able to quickly try to help the man by calling us and waking up the owner of the nearby farm.
"Had there been no working smoke alarms, the fire could have been left undetected and spread to the neighbouring property. Although we never condone tackling a fire yourself, praise must go to the farmer who desperately tried to help the man. He was wearing a form of respirator however this did not mean he wasn’t at risk so although his actions were commendable, we would not encourage others to do the same.
"This is a tragic incident and our thoughts are with the man’s family and friends at this difficult time. Our priority this morning is to establish the cause of the fire and although it does not look like there are any suspicious circumstances at this stage, a full joint fire and police investigation is underway."
The property ground floor has been left smoke and heat damaged and the man’s pet cat also unfortunately perished in the blaze. Firefighters left the scene at 5.25am.
Fire investigation and scenes of crime officers are currently carrying out the joint investigation into the cause of the fire.