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Pensioner died in house fire in Lordswood

By Amy Nickalls

Police have confirmed the death of a man in his 70s following a fire in a retirement flat last night.

Emergency services were called to the blaze on Sultan Road, Lordswood, Chatham at 9.16pm.

A man in his 70s was pronounced dead at the scene and his next of kin have now been informed.

Police are still at the scene.

Forensics are at the scene to carry out inquiries but it is not being treated as suspicious.

The officers were seen entering the property and taking photographs of the entrance hall.

Another forensic officer entered the flat and went upstairs.

A woman at the scene this morning walking her dog said: "He was blind and used an oxygen cylinder and I've heard he was smoking near it and it exploded."

Another man who was in the area last night at about 10pm said: "I don't know what happened but I saw three fire engines and the road had been cordoned off."

Neighbours have remained in the other flats which are retirement homes for people over 55.

Head of Housing for The Hyde Group, Tony Morgan said:“We are shocked and saddened to hear this morning of the tragic death of one of our residents. Our thoughts are with the family.

"This matter is currently with the emergency services to carry out the appropriate investigation, so it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”

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