by Rachel Hovenden
Neighbours have told of their shock after a fire claimed the life of a father "who always said hello".
John Elmore, aged in his mid-50s, died in hospital after suffering smoke inhalation and serious burns during the fire at his home in Manse Way, Swanley last Wednesday (March 7).
A neighbour is believed to have spotted the smoke pouring from the house and dialled 999.
Two fire crews, ambulances and the police attended the incident, which took place at about 7.30am.
Vicky Wise, 40, who works at Sainbury’s and lived near Mr Elmore, said: "They closed the road off until about 9am.
"I’ve never known anything like this to happen before.
"There were fire engines and police cars and he got taken into the ambulance. "He always said hello."
A spokesman for South East Coast Ambulance service said: "The man suffered burns and smoke inhalation and he was taken to Darent Valley Hospital."
He was later taken to the burns unit at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead but died on Thursday afternoon (March 8).
Kent Fire and Rescue Service said the fire is not being treated as suspicious.
The door to the property has since been boarded up and mourners left flowers in tribute to Mr Elmore outside the house.
One tribute read: "To my dearest Dad. Still can’t believe you’re gone. RIP now God bless you Dad. Love you always Claire xxxx xxx."
Another said: "To our loving Uncle John. You will be sadly missed and you will never know just how much you was loved.
"You will always be in our thoughts John.
"All our love, David, Nicola, Amy, Paige xxx Always x"
One read: "Dear John. You’ll always be in our memories, Love Ian, Karyn , Lauren and Louis."
Did you see what happened or would like to pay tribute to Mr Elmore then please leave a comment below or contact the news desk on 01474 564327.
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