Man dies after fire breaks out in home
A man has died and a woman is in a serious condition in hospital after a fire broke out at their home.
The blaze started shortly before 9am on Saturday at a block of flats in Victoria Street, Loughborough.
Firefighters called to the scene found the 39-year-old man unconscious inside the first-floor apartment and carried him outside.
He was given emergency first aid by a firefighter and police officer and treated by an ambulance crew at the scene, before being taken to hospital suffering from serious injuries.
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He died on Saturday evening, police said.
A woman who managed to get out of the property was taken to hospital suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke. She is in a serious but stable condition.
It is understood the couple have two children who escaped the flat safely.
The fire service said the blaze was caused accidentally, by combustible materials being left too close to an electric heater.
Firefighters and police helped to evacuate the 14 flats in the three-storey block. Some residents had to leave their homes using a ladder because their exit to the communal stairs was barred by the fire.
District councillor for the area Marion Smith, who lives nearby, expressed her sympathy to the family of the deceased man.
She said: "It is terribly sad. He was only 39.
"My sympathies go out to the family and to the residents who have been badly shocked by what has happened.
"I want to praise the professionalism of the firefighters, police and ambulance service for what they did."
Resident John Robinson, 58, who lives in Victoria Street, said: "The first I knew anything was wrong was when I saw flames shooting two metres out from the first floor living room window, just before 9am.
"It was really raging and shooting up the front of the building and out the back.
"There were fire engines, police officers and an ambulance crew quickly on the scene. I saw the firefighters carry out one gentleman.
"They were trying to revive him and then they carried him to the ambulance.
"The woman was standing outside with a blanket over her and she was also covered in black, and was taken away in an ambulance as well."
Loughborough crew manager Graham Vaux rescued the man from the blazing flat, with firefighter Peter Hopkins.
Mr Vaux said: "The flat was well alight when we arrived.
"We had a message that somebody may have been in the building. We found the man and we carried him out.
"Our colleagues searched the rest of the flat while others warned neighbours."
Roads in the area were sealed off to enable the fire crews to fight the fire.
The blaze was contained to the flat.
The first floor living area was badly damaged by fire and the upstairs bedrooms were badly affected by smoke.
Coun Smith said some of the flats in the block were owned by Charnwood Borough Council, while others were privately owned.
A police spokesman said a file was being prepared for the coroner.