BREAKING NEWS: Westbourne house fire death ‘not suspicious’

House fire at a property in Edgell Road, Westbourne'Picture by Eddie Mitchell
House fire at a property in Edgell Road, Westbourne'Picture by Eddie Mitchell

Police investigating the death of a woman at the scene of a house fire said they are treating the death as ‘unexplained’.

A spokeman for Sussex Police, said: “Emergency services were called to a house fire in Edgell Road, at 11.20am on Saturday, May 18. “The body of a 29-year-old woman was found inside the house. Police are treating the death as unexplained and are not looking for anyone else in relation to the incident. The matter has been referred to the coroner’s officer.”

One neighbour, who didn’t want to be named, said: “We pulled up in the car just as the fire engines arrived. There were loads of them. There were plumes and plumes of smoke coming from the house. It was awful.”

The woman, who has been named locally as Gemma Bishop, was brought out of the building by firefighters.

Neighbours have said she was a mother of two.

Police and forensic officers cordoned off the property over the weekend to examine the scene.

Louise Jacobs, 28, who lives across the street, said: “We’ve known each since we were at Chichester High School together, and recently she’s been working with my mum, so she’s always around here, popping in and out for a coffee.

“She has been a good friend for years, she was so bubbly, really sweet. She wouldn’t hurt a fly.

“She was lovely. I can’t believe this has happened. Both our mums have grand mal epilepsy and we were in the same form at school, so we bonded over that, really.”

For the full story and eye witness accounts see this Thursday’s Observer (May 23).