Neighbours have spoken of their shock and sadness following the death of an elderly man in a fire in Littlehampton.
Emergency services were called to a second-floor flat in Maltravers Court, Maltravers Road just before 9am.
Firefighters were sent from Littlehampton fire station, just across the road from where the incident happened. Ambulances and the police were also called to the scene.
A statement issued by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service earlier today confirmed the fatality.
A spokesman said: “A fire engine from Littlehampton was at the block of flats, which is located opposite the fire station, almost immediately and a breathing apparatus team began a search of the property.
“Firefighters discovered a man, believed to be in his 70s, in the bedroom. Sadly, the man was declared deceased at the scene. The fire, which was contained to the bedroom, was extinguished using a hose reel. A second crew from Littlehampton and a crew from Worthing also attended.”
Investigators from West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and Sussex Police are still looking into the cause of the fire.
Desmond Colliss, who lives on the ground floor of Maltravers Court, said his property had not been affected by the incident and that the only sign of fire was some smoke.
The 54-year-old paid tribute to his neighbour. “He would always say hello and speak to you if you saw him. He was a really nice chap,” he said.
A neighbour living in Fitzalan Road nearby said: “I’m very sorry to hear the chap is now deceased. It is such a great tragedy.”
Bobbie Dore, 78, of Fitzalan Court in Maltravers Road also shared her sympathies. “It is so sad when someone dies like that so unexpectedly,” she said.
Police cordoned off Maltravers Road at around 9am, but the road has since been reopened.
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