INVESTIGATIONS are continuing into a fire at a house in Poole which contained the body of an elderly man.

The pathway leading up to the home on Pearce Avenue, in Lilliput, is fenced off while police and fire investigators continue to establish the circumstances and cause of the blaze, which happened at around 2pm on Wednesday.

The victim has been named locally as 77-year-old Graham Cox, although formal identification has yet to be carried out.

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Approximately 40 firefighters attended the scene to tackle the fire which was located in the first floor and roof space of the property, along with ambulance crews and officers from Dorset Police.

Neighbours spoke of their sadness of the news of the man’s death and a bunch of flowers had been tied to the wall outside of the house.

Neighbour, Hazel Mitchell, 69, said: “It’s really sad that someone has died and everybody is shocked. It was really bad judging by the number of emergency vehicles on the road.

“The street was absolutely filled with fire engines and ambulances. I don’t know the people who live there, but I feel so sorry for the man’s family.”

Chris Booth, 36, a builder from Suttle Projects, was on a nearby building site when one of his colleagues noticed the smoke and flames.

He said: “One of the lads noticed the flames and the smoke, so we basically downed tools, while another lad rang the fire service.

“There were five of us, so two went to the back of the house and three went to the front, to see if anyone was in there, and we noticed that the TV was on.

“So we broke the front door down and some of the guys went inside to see if we could find anyone. We searched the bottom of the house, but the smoke was becoming too thick to see anything.

“We got outside and waited for the fire service before helping them to unreel the hoses towards the house for them to put the fire out.”

A Dorset Police spokesperson said the incident was not being treated as suspicious.