A WOMAN was killed in a house fire in Somercotes on Monday.
The victim, believed to be 26 years old, was found in the burned-out bedroom of a terrace house on Queen Street, in Somercotes, and pronounced dead at the scene.
The tragedy comes as the area is still reeling from the as yet unsolved murder of Jia Ashton, 24, who had been attacked as she walked home from work along a woodland path near Sleetmoor Road in the village on March 10.
Chairman of Somercotes Parish Council Paul Smith said: “Again someone has lost their life, as a community we are all feeling for the families that are left behind. It is another blow for us. We are still reeling from Jia’s murder and unfortunately we’ve got another situation where someone has lost their life.”
Firefighters from Ripley and Alfreton were called out to tackle the blaze, which started on the first floor of the house shortly before 4pm. The woman’s body was discovered as firefighters carried out a search of the property with a thermal imaging camera.
People who live on the narrow cul-de-sac have spoken of their shock at the tragedy. Cards and flowers left outside the house contained tributes to the deceased from “husband Mick” and “best friend Bridget”.
For the latest on the Jia murder investigation, including the hunt for a man wanted in connection with the killing, turn to Page 3.
l Fire death continued on Page 2
Neighbour Gary Whysall said: “When I came home from work there was smoke coming from the house and a couple of people looking up. I heard the sirens and within a couple of minutes the fire brigade was here. The fire brigade did a cracking job.”
Neighbour Stephen Rucroft said the job of firefighters was made much harder by the narrow road and the amount of parked cars. “It’s a very quiet street and not much happens here.”
A joint investigation between fire officers and police has begun to determine the cause of the fire.
A post-mortem examination was carried out on Tuesday. Police have not yet formally identified the body.
Anyone with information is asked to call police on 0345 123 3333.