Police launch criminal negligence investigation after man, 27, mysteriously dies in New Year's Day Gosport flat fire

POLICE are investigating criminal negligence following the death of a man who died mysteriously on New Year’s Day after a flat fire.

By Steve Deeks
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 4:55 am
Updated Thursday, 27th January 2022, 12:35 pm

As reported, police and fire investigators were investigating the ‘unexplained’ death after crews attended the blaze in Durham Street, Gosport, at around 2.30am.

The News can now reveal the deceased man as being 27-year-old Romanian national Mihail Catalin Bragau who lived in Gosport.

Police, who confirmed the identity, have now revealed the nature of their probe – which is not being treated as a murder investigation.

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The man who died in a flat fire on New Year's Day in Durham Street, Gosport, has been named as Mihail Catalin Bragau. Picture: Family/Mike Cooter

A spokesman said: ‘This is a criminal investigation, and we are investigating suspected criminal negligence linked to the death.’

Police confirmed the investigation for negligence centred around the property owners.

No arrests have been made yet.

Mr Bragau was found dead upon arrival at the scene – with the inferno already out.

Mihail Catalin Bragau who was found dead after a flat fire in Durham Street, Gosport, on New Year's Day 2022. Picture Madalin Bragau

He had been living in the UK for five years, did not have a wife or children and worked locally for a car washing company.

It is understood he had been living at the address for around two months.

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Mr Bragau leaves behind his twin brother Madalin Bragau and father in Romania who have demanded answers and want to bring their loved one home.

Police and fire investigators at a flat in Durham Street, Gosport, after a blaze at around 2.30am on January 1, 2022. Picture: Steve Deeks

The brother told The News: ‘We have no idea what happened. We just got a call saying he was dead and there had been a fire and an explosion.

‘It is very difficult for us. We just want to bring him home and want to know what to do. We know it will be expensive to get him back.

‘We have tried speaking to some of his friends but they don’t know anything. We want to find out what happened.’

The brother said Mr Bragau moved to Gosport for a better life but said he struggled with ‘alcohol problems’.

Police and fire investigators at a flat in Durham Street, Gosport, after a blaze at around 2.30am on January 1, 2022. Picture: Steve Deeks

‘He moved there five years ago and was living in Gosport where he worked for a car wash company. He was living there because of the money he could earn,’ he said.

‘He didn’t have a wife or children. He only has me and my dad who are in Romania.’

Attempts to establish what happened to Mr Bragau come after residents said they heard ‘banging’ from the address before emergency crews arrived.

One local said: ‘I heard a lot of banging and people shouting. I didn’t know there was a fire.

‘A window was smashed.’

Another resident added: ‘I heard noise and banging before firefighters turned up.

‘I’m not sure what happened but police and fire investigators were still there (later in the day).’

A smashed rear window to the property could be seen while there was a strong smell of stale burning in the aftermath of the fire.

A spokesman for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service previously said: ‘Firefighters from Gosport Fire Station were called to a flat on Durham Street at 2.28am.

‘The fire was out on arrival with the incident handed over to Hampshire Constabulary partners.’

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