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Brave man speaks out after next-door neighbour dies in Waterlooville fire

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BRAVE neighbour Matthew Tyrrell has spoken of coming up against ‘intense flames’ as he tried to put out a house fire in which his neighbour died.

He was woken at 3am by banging and looked out of the window of his home in Haslar Crescent, Waterlooville, to see fire tearing through a bungalow two doors down.

The 39-year-old leapt out of bed and ran to his garden for his garden hose to try and stop the flames spreading to his next-door neighbour’s house – but they were too strong.

Mr Tyrrell (pictured) said: ‘It was such intense heat, it was unbelievable. I went out there in a blind panic, you just do what you’ve got to do. It was instinct.

‘I heard someone banging the hell out of my next-door neighbours’ front door. It was the milkman trying to wake them up because the adjoining property was on fire.

‘They are away on holiday at the moment so I grabbed the garden hose and tried to suppress the flames to stop it spreading to their property.

The elderly gentleman who died – who has not been named – is believed to have lived alone in the property.

Mr Tyrrell added: ‘No one deserves to go in that way. It’s terrible.’

The fire took hold at 3am and, despite the efforts of firefighters and paramedics, the man died at the scene.

A pet collie dog was rescued unharmed from the garden.

Mr Tyrrell said he was desperate to stop the flames reaching his neighbour’s home but it was badly damaged by fire and water after it spread to the roof.

‘I just can’t get the thought of them arriving home from a cruise and seeing all the damage out of my mind,’ he said.

‘It does not bear thinking how devastated they will be.’

Commander at Havant fire station David Hodge said: ‘It was a severe fire, so for him to have a go was a brave act.’

Passers-by spoke of their shock after coming across the charred remains of the property. Some said it was the second home in the street in a year to have gone up in flames.

Waterlooville resident Rose Turner said: ‘It’s an awful way to die.’

Dog walker Mick Adams, 71, of Sunnnymead Drive, said: ‘It’s terrible and unbelievable. It’s shocking to see something like this.’

It took nearly three hours for crews to put out the blaze. Supports were put up inside the building to stop it collapsing before an investigation began.

Crews spend nearly three hours tackling fierce blaze

FIREFIGHTERS were met with ‘arduous conditions’ at the scene of the devastating blaze.

Fire engines were joined by an aerial ladder platform from Southsea and a special equipment unit from Cosham as teams worked to control the situation.

It took almost three hours to put out the flames and the fire service says its thoughts are ‘now with the deceased’s family at this difficult time.’ His identity has yet to be released.

Anyone with information which may assist the investigation should call District CID at Havant police station on 101.

 

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