Man dies in house fire

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An elderly man has died after a fire broke out at his home.

Fire crews were called to a property in Cage Lane, New Longton, at around 10.40am on Thursday.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said the body of a man, believed to be in his 80s, was recovered from the property.

Graham Knowles, the incident commander from Penwortham fire station, said the fire is initially being treated as “suspicious.”

But, the Guardian understands that is likely to be stepped down as the investigation continues.

Mr Knowles said: “At the moment, the fire is being treated as of suspicious origin purely because the patio door was open approximately 18 inches.

“Because the patio door was open, we have to establish whether that was normal custom and practice or whether someone has entered the premises and left it open.”

He added: “We were called this morning to a ‘persons reported’ fire with smoke coming from the premises.

“On arrival, the crews were met by a neighbour who told them there was a gentleman at the back of the house.”

Mr Knowles said a rescue attempt was not made because the neighbour was in distress and the man in the house was “beyond rescue.”

The man lived in a “granny flat” extension at the side of the house, according to neighbours.

Mr Knowles said fire crews would be continuing to dampen down small seats of fire in the roof space of the house.

Scenes of crime and forensic science officers from the police are also due to investigate.