Man (45) dies in Nelson flat fire

A 45-year-old man has died at the scene after a fire at a house in Essex Street, Nelson.

The fire started around 11 p.m. in the downstairs flat of the property and the man has not yet been named.

Investigations into the cause of the fire are still ongoing but it is not believed to be suspicious.

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Fire crews from Nelson and Colne attended after neighbours raised the alarm.

Joseph Kavanagh, who lives across the road, did not know the man but said: “The fire service arrived about 11 p.m. There were two fire engines, one ambulance and two police cars. They arrived very quickly, it only took them a few minutes.

“They broke down the front door first and after one of them shone their torch I heard him shout ‘round the back’. They must have realised the house is split into two flats. I saw the person stretchered out from the back and taken in an ambulance.

“There were no flames but my neighbours across the road were covered in smoke, there must be a cellar that runs under all of the houses.”

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Another neighbour, Mohammed Asghar, said: “I could smell the smoke in my house and unplugged all of my electric and gas. I thought I better check where it’s coming from.

“I saw the smoke coming from the front window of 1 Essex Street and then phoned 999. I said please come as quickly as you can, it’s an emergency.”