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Police are not treating Sedge Fen bungalow fire as suspicious

15:05 15 February 2017

Sedge Fen, near Lakenheath. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

Sedge Fen, near Lakenheath. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

Archant

Police have revealed the man who was found dead in a bungalow fire in Sedge Fen yesterday was aged in his 80s.

Sedge Fen, near Lakenheath. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELLSedge Fen, near Lakenheath. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

Although the cause of the fire is yet to be confirmed, police today said the fire was not believed to be suspicious.

The body was discovered by firefighters tackling a late-night bungalow fire in a remote part of the Suffolk Fens.

The victim’s next-of-kin are still being informed by Suffolk police of the tragedy at the home in Sedge Fen, which is to the west of Lakenheath.

When fire crews were first called to the scene at 7.50pm on February 13 they began a search for the man, and the following morning, after the fire was extinguished, police said the search was still ongoing.

Fire in Sedge Fen, near Lakenheath. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELLFire in Sedge Fen, near Lakenheath. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

However, speaking from the scene a few hours later yesterday Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service investigation officer Steve Mableson confirmed a man had lost his life.

“We’ve established where the individual is,” he said. “It’s a very sad set of circumstances. Obviously we’re here to try and establish why this incident happened and to do our best by the gentleman that’s no longer with us.”

The fire was at the end of Decoy Road, a long-running stretch of public-access track that is ultimately a cul-de-sac ending just south of the River Little Ouse.

To reach it, a long drive across open fields is necessary and Mr Mableson described the location of the fire as “remote”.

“Because of the remoteness, the fire was relatively intense by the time fire appliances attended. We had four fire engines here who fought the fire successfully,” he said.

“It’s fully extinguished now but we need to do a step-by-step approach to identify what the cause was. The property itself is in a pretty poor state of repair, which doesn’t make our life very easy. Because it’s structurally unstable we need to take additional precautions to try and make it safe for us to work in. We need to get it right so it will take a little bit of time for us to try and do that.”

Because of the damage to the building, he said it was not yet possible to determine exactly how the fire had started, or in which part of the building.

The fire was eventually brought under control at 12.45am – around five hours after it started.

Police and fire crews at the scene the day after the Sedge Fen fire. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELLPolice and fire crews at the scene the day after the Sedge Fen fire. Picture: CHRIS SHIMWELL

A cordon remained around the property yesterday and cars travelling along the road were asked to make a U-turn by the officer in charge of the scene.

The man’s name and other details are yet to be confirmed by Suffolk Constabulary, which said formal identification was still to be completed.

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