Neighbours have spoken of their shock and sadness after an elderly couple were found dead in their home in Chorley following a fire this morning.
Firefighters were called to a blaze on Devonport Way, off Eaves Lane, amid reports that people were “still inside the property.”
Four firefighters equipped with hosereels and breathing apparatus went into the house at around 8.45am.
They then discovered the deceased - a local couple - inside the house, say fire services.
Peter Speakman, 77, who lives opposite the semi-detached property, said: “I saw the smoke coming out, then the fire people going in with the breathing apparatus, that’s all really.
“It was nine o clock, when the kids were going to school. I was sat in the chair and saw lights flashing and the fire engine was there. There were three ambulances and police.
“When the fire people are going in with breathing apparatus and they’re not bringing nobody out . . .
“I asked the ambulance people are they okay and they said ‘no’.
“It’s terrible really. They’ve lived there quite a while. They’ve lived over there thirty years, their children were there when they first came there.
“She used to do all the shopping every morning. I’ve not seen him for quite a while, only stood at the door.”
The property is just yards away from St James’ CE Primary School, Devonport Way.
Parents were taking their children to school when the fire started.
Another neighbour, whose house backs onto the property, said she knew the couple.
Mary Pearson, 70, said: “We always talked. I’ve known them seven years. She was a very nice woman, she used to go to the shops every day, even at the age she was, she was eighty-odd.
“I mostly saw him now and again. They were a very nice couple really.”
She described the incident: “I saw the smoke coming out of the back door. There was no windows, no back door open and smoke coming out, but I didn’t hear a fire alarm going off.
“By the time I’ve got my coat on to go round there, someone had gone into the house through the front.
“I think it was the grand daughter who had gone round because she was dropping her children off at school.
“It was a shock, especially for the neighbour next door because she loved her.
“It’s upsetting because she was a very nice neighbour.”
A joint investigation has been launched by the Police and the Fire Services and a post-mortem examination will take place to try to establish the exact cause of death, say police.
Richard Edney, spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: “We were called to a house fire at 8.45am this morning. Four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used hose-reels and ventilation units to enter the property and extinguish the fire.
“They unfortunately found an elderly couple deceased inside.
“We are keeping an open mind regarding the cause of the fire.”